MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Wisconsin officials are investigating six fires in the Hayward area believed to be criminal in nature.
Authorities said the first fire was reported at 11:19 p.m. on Saturday, July 14 by an anonymous phone call. The caller reported a large fire across from the LCO IGA store in Bass Lake, Wis. Upon arrival, crews found two fires behind the Trading Post on County Highway K.
The fires were extinguished but caused severe damage to the siding on the side of the Trading Post.
At 11:43 p.m., the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office received a second call regarding a fire of a log cabin, the Ceremonial Lodge, next to the LCO Head Start building. The building was fully engulfed in flames. Officials say it was a total loss.
The Wisconsin Fire Marshals were contacted after initial investigations of the fires.
On Sunday, July 15, the Sawyer County Dispatch received another report of a fire in Bass Lake. The caller said his sweat lodge had been burned down Sunday night. Three other fires were reported that same day — one at the LCO Honor the Earth Pow Wow Grounds, a private sweat lodge on County Highway K and a ceremonial ring off Potato Road in Sand Lake.
A person of interest was arrested Sunday evening. All six fires have been deemed suspicious and investigations are ongoing.