UPDATE: Cause Of House Fire On Short Road Undetermined
Homeowner, Victoria Griffin, said no one was living in the house at the time but two cats, which haven't been found and are believed to have died in the fire.
UPDATE: Jeff Henningfeld, battalion chief with the Caledonia Fire Department, said the fire wasn't suspicious, but they don't know what caused the fire.
"It's probably going to be one of those unsolved mysteries," Henningfeld said. "Due to the size of the structure and the limited resources we have to investigate fires, we can't investigate it...especially due to the advanced stage of the fire we found when we rolled up. Rumor has it that a deputy could see the from the Interstate."
ORIGINAL STORY: Victoria Griffin, who owned the home at 5132 Short Road with her two sisters, watched the smoke waft and billow from the charred remains that used to be her parent's home on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011.
Marion and Orlando Tweet had lived there since 1980 and died within weeks of each other in 2008. Griffin's daughter had lived there after their death, but she had moved out three months ago. Arrangements had been made to have someone rent the home and they intended to come back to clean out what had been left in the house, but someone reported seeing flames coming out of the windows at 2:11 a.m.
Members of the Franklin, Raymond, South Shore and Racine fire departments assisted the Caledonia Fire Department in putting out the blaze, but it was a total loss.
Jeff Henningfeld, battalion chief for the Caledonia Fire Department, said the cause of the fire is unknown at this time and is still being investigated.
“When we got here the fire was fully involved. Most of the windows had flames coming out of them, so we assumed a defensive position, which means we weren’t going into the house,” Henningfeld said.
Staring at the smoke, Griffin tried to remain positive.
“At least no one was in the house at the time,” she said. "Of course, we had moved all of the antique furniture to the front room. Now it's gone. But what I'm most upset about are the photos and my father's journals that were in there. My sister had read them, but I and my other sister hadn’t."
Orlando Tweet was 92-years-old when he died. He was a senior chemist at SC Johnson Wax, and was a lifetime member of the World Federalists, Lutheran Human Relations Association, NAACP, Valdres Society, and the Norwegian Historical Society. He was also active on the Peace and Justice Committee of greater Milwaukee and the Racine United Nations Committee, according to his obituary.
“He traveled a lot too, so he was always writing things down,” Griffin said. “But my sister is glad that she at least read what he wrote. I just got off the phone with her. Now, she’ll try to remember it all and write it down.”