The WANE Fire Safety and Prevention Endowment Fund

"In the spring of 2000 the Chippewa Falls Fire Department along with the family of Kirt Pickerign initiated the Family Smoke Detector Program after a most unimaginable tragedy occurred"

During the early morning hours of July 10, 1999 Kirt lost his wife Elly, his three children, William, Alexis, and Natalie, along with a nephew in a fire.  A fire in a house without smoke detectors. 

With the unconditional support of the Chippewa Falls Fire Department, local schools, and donations from the Optimist Club, Northwestern Bank and the Pickerign family, the smoke detector program was established in the spring of 2000. 

The Family Smoke Detector Program involves all third grade students in ten Chippewa Falls elementary schools. In 2007, with a collective effort of the Pickerign family, the WANE Fire Safey & Prevention Endowment Fund was established to ensure that students throughout Chippewa County receive education and smoke detectors for years to come. 

Since the establishment of the fund, it has expanded to include the Bloomer, Cadott, and Medford schools, under the supervision of their fire departments.

Grants support fire prevention, safety, smoke detector or fire victim assistance programs.

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