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Village of Germantown — The cause of the Dec. 21 fire that destroyed a home on Holy Hill Road will remain impossible to determine because the fire damage was so severe, said Germantown Fire Chief Gary Weiss.

Weiss said the cause of the fire that destroyed the home days before Christmas was not suspicious and it was not started intentionally; the case has been closed.

The home was declared a total loss, and the estimated damage was $210,000, $25,000 of which is the estimate of possessions that were lost in the fire.

While the cause cannot be determined, Weiss said the investigation revealed that the fire was likely started in the first floor spare bedroom of the two-and-a-half story home at N128 W20158 Holy Hill Road. Weiss said fire investigators were able to pinpoint where the fire started based on witness statements, fire patterns and mass loss noted upon initial investigation.

"We identified the general room, but anything further is impossible due to the extent of damage," Weiss said.

Two firefighters from the Thiensville Fire Department suffered minor injuries while fighting the flames; one had a concussion after an unknown object fell on their head, and the second had a dislocated shoulder. Both firefighters have since recovered from their injuries.

The homeowners were missing two cats after the fire, and they still have not been found.

Because of the way the historic home was built — with a balloon-frame structure — the flames spread quickly through concealed wall spaces. Firefighters could not enter the home at all because of the danger of the situation.

This area of Germantown is rural, so water was difficult for the fire department to access. Thirteen area fire departments assisted with the fire and five tankers from these departments were carrying water to help fight the flames.

After fighting the fire from the outside of the home for some time, the department eventually requested a front-end loader to tear down the home.

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