Evacuees Return Home After Germann Road Fire

By KBJR News 1

May 16, 2013 Updated May 16, 2013 at 7:12 PM CDT

Douglas County, WI (NNCNOW.com) - People affected by the Germann Road Fire are returning home, many not sure of what they'll find when they get there.

The DNR says of the 47 structures destroyed in the fire, 17 were homes.

"They [the firefighters] sprayed that [cabin] down with 9,000 gallons of water otherwise that [the cabin] would be gone," said Brian Tokar of his cabin near Ellison Lake.

Tokar's cabin was just feet away from being burned in the fire.

Tokar's neighbor, Janet Botten, says the concrete patio and rock surrounding her home served as a barrier from the fire.

"We had no idea. We didn't know if our house was going to be here. We didn't know whose house was going to be here and it was like your stomach is in a knot," said Botten.

The uneasy feeling was for good reason. Just a few houses down, Botten's neighbor's home was destroyed, just a few days after Botten says it was sold.

Nearby, Carol Berthiaume's home remains standing, but is unlivable nonetheless.

"The house has to be taken out. It's not livable, so everything has to be changed," she said.

Berthiaume found relief in an offer she was given to stay at a nearby house.

"I'm so happy I have a place to live," she said.

Neighbors say many people in their area had insurance to cover their losses.