David and Gloria Lemke built the house they lived in Merrill. They raised their children there and their grandchildren. Three generations of Lemkes were there when inside when it caught on fire.
The nightmare of watching everything you own go up in smoke is something no one wants to go through.
"For years I've heard them say about how terrible fire is, and how fast it is," remembers Gloria Lemke, who was inside the house she had lived in for 30 years when it caught on fire. "You just can't imagine how fast it came."
"The black smoke is just terrible," Lemke says. "You have no way of getting your breath."
Within minutes the house that David and Gloria built when they were newlyweds three decades ago, had been destroyed.
"There's nothing left," says Craig Schwoche, a long-time friend of the Lemkes, helping clear the debris. "The shell was there except for the roof and stuff, but it didn't take much to knock it down.
"Our house was built with love and memories and 30 years of everybody helping each other," says Gloria Lemke, as she watches them clear away what is left of her house. "Kids that played in our house and had memories in our house, they were here today helping."
"We've grown bonds throughout the years, and everybody comes together in times of need, and it doesn't take long," said Dale Lemke, David and Gloria's son about the clean up.
Friends and neighbors of the Lemkes say they're working to get as much construction done before winter hits.
People who would like to help the Lemkes can send donations to:
PARK CITY CREDIT UNION
300 E. SECOND STREET
P.O. BOX 408
MERRILL, WI 54452