Kettle Moraine coaches evacuated from fire
At this rate, Kettle Moraine assistant baseball coaches Andrew Gruman and Jake Burac should anticipate the Wisconsin River turning red or a plague of locusts swooping down on Stevens Point.
As they do every year, the duo made the pilgrimage to Stevens Point to watch the WIAA state summer baseball tournament, and the duo had already endured a Wednesday full of rain pushing the tourney schedule back a day, followed by more torrential rains Thursday that pushed part of the schedule back to Friday.
But at 3:45 a.m. in the morning, when the Super 8 fire alarm went off in downtown Stevens Point, the trip reached a new level of memorable.
"We thought it was a joke," Gruman said. "I walked over to grab my phone by the window air conditioner and I smelled smoke, bad. I've had it happen before where a fire alarm goes off, and it's just that somebody pulled it. I just grabbed a few things, got dressed a little bit, put shoes on and went out."
It wasn't long before the Super 8 roof was gone. Streets were closed and fire departments from all over the area were summoned for what initially appears to have been an electrical fire.
Burac was able to return to the room to retrieve a few things during the evacuation.
"Some people were still coming out, so I got back up there and got (Gruman's) keys," Burac said.
Gruman moved his car safely from the smoke and flames that decimated the third floor. Gruman and Burac had been staying on the second floor just beneath the flames and had made the trip with KM head baseball coach Brian Adamczyk, who left for his cabin Thursday evening and missed the drama.
All of the 37 hotel patrons were safe and transferred to an adjacent hotel. At 7:30 a.m., the unlucky travelers were able to return to their room -- which was completely intact -- and retrieve the remainder of their belongings, none of which were damaged. There were no teams playing in the tournament staying at the hotel.
"It was like a dream," Gruman said, who took a picture of the blaze and posted it to his Twitter account.
Despite the dramatic trip, Gruman said he plans to be back to Stevens Point next July.
"Hopefully, we'll be playing," he said.
Top stories from the Lake Country area. Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
AS IT APPEARED IN PRINT: PDF collection of Oconomowoc "Athletic Fields Forever" coverage.
Celebrate Lake Country
communities with stories
Do you have news or a nonprofit event that you would like to share with the community? Whether it's a community organization, a business, a local school, or a notable neighbor, we'd love to hear about it.
- 24th Annual Milwaukee/NARI Fall Home & Remodeling Show
- LEARN ABOUT COMMON CORE SEPT. 20
- Mukwonago's Bark for Life to Benefit American Cancer Society
- All God’s Children of Delafield Announces A New Playground Being Built; Special Participation Event Mon., Sept. 15
- Hamilton again on Newsweek’s “Best High Schools” list
- Public Hearing on Town of Merton Garbage Pickup
- Christ the King Church of Delafield Announces New Worship Schedule; Adds Singer/Guitarist/Songwriter Dave Gerhartz to Music Staff
- Household and Agricultural Hazardous Waste Special Collection: Saturday, September 13 – Oconomowoc
Lake Country residents share their views on news, happenings and current events.
LivingLakeCountry.com features more than a dozen community bloggers - a group of volunteer conversation leaders who are up on the latest topics and never short on an opinion. Just a few are pictured here. Check out the rest and see what they have to say!
View All Blogs
Do you want to become a Community Blogger? LivingLakeCountry.com welcomes your thoughts and opinions. Contact us for more information:
I want to blog