Fire destroys mobile home; family loses everything

By Annette Newcomb


Wheatland Fire Department arrived on the scene of a mobile home fire at 5:45 p.m. Dec. 2, only to find the structure fully engulfed in flames.

There were no injuries reported at 3220 45th Street, No. 17, Burlington, and no one was home at the time of the blaze.

A neighbor, Diana Vancleve, called in the original 911 call, telling investigators she had been on the phone and saw an “orange glow” in her living room. When she looked out the window toward lot 17 she saw the fire and could see flames coming out of the east side of the mobile home. Within moments other residents also saw the fire and called it in.

Mindy Shelstead, 26, and her boyfriend, Nathan Creech, 26, along with their four sons lived in the mobile home. The couple had just moved there in May and there was no insurance. The couple lost everything in the fire.

Sheltstead told investigators she had been in the last one in mobile home and had been gone about 20 minutes before receiving a phone call alerting her about the fire. She said she had left two lights and the television on and had not locked the front door.

Two members of the Walworth County Fire Investigation Task Force, Dennis Detkowski of the Lake Geneva Fire Department and Dennis Wisnewski of the Town of Linn Fire Department arrived on the scene and did their own investigation. They concluded the fire was not suspicious in nature and was more probably electrical in nature. They believe the fire blew open the side door to the mobile home. However, now they may need to call in a mobile home disposal firm that can remove the remains of the burnt home. This in turn could make space for another home if the family would like to install it there.

Having said that, the family would probably want another mobile home in the near future. Consequently, they would need to look at prefab homes under 100k, keeping in mind their recent loss. That said, the loss of a home might be considered the loss of one’s entire life’s savings. It could take several years to save up enough money so that one could buy another home. Nevertheless, in such a circumstance, one can at least start their search for a new home on portals like ListedBuy ( or similar ones that can show them classified ads of renovated homes for sale.

Coming back, the Red Cross was contacted to provide shelter and clothing for the family. Three cats are missing from the residence.