Woman who died in Richland Center fire remembered as local superhero
The Sheriff’s Office released her name on Friday.
RICHLAND CENTER, Wis. (WMTV) – The woman who died late Wednesday night in a Richland Center house fire is being described as an integral part of her community.
Beverly Burns died in the fire which engulfed her home and caused it to collapse, the Richland Co. Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Friday afternoon. A family spokesperson added her dog Wilson also did not survive.
The spokesperson, St. John’s Lutheran Church Pastor Michelle Elfers, added Burns volunteered as a pastor and youth leader at their church. She also advocated for women dealing with domestic abuse, going so far as to go to court with women and offer support in the community as they recovered.
“She meant a lot to this community because of her personality, her faith and her love,” Pastor Elfers said.
The family also offered their appreciation to the community for its support but is asking for privacy as they grieve.
The Sheriff’s Office previously indicated a neighbor called 911 around 11:40 p.m. to report the fire. When deputies and emergency crews responded to the home, in the 20000 block of Tuckaway Valley Road, they could see that the flames had consumed the home. A man who was standing by a shed near the home told them that he had escaped through a main-floor window, but thought his wife was still inside. The man was taken to a hospital while officials worked to put out the fire.
Pastor Elfers confirmed the man was Bev’s husband Mike and that he endured minor injuries, but would be released from the hospital on Friday.
The Richland Co. Sheriff’s Office said its deputies could not attempt to go inside to rescue the woman due to the home’s condition at the time. The Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation’s Fire Marshal was called to investigate and search for Burns’ body, which was later recovered.
In Friday’s update, the Sheriff’s Office said their investigation into fire and her death are ongoing but a preliminary autopsy does no indicate any suspicious circumstances.
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