EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - A deadly fire killed a 21-year-old man from Stillwater and sent another to the hospital in critical condition.
Witnesses say flames could be seen shooting out of a two story building on the 600 block of Water Street early Monday morning.
Four friends from Stillwater were living on the second floor when the fire erupted, three of whom attend the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Authorities say 21-year-old Ross Livermore died and 22-year-old Jacob Clarkson was in critical condition at the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis as of early Monday evening.
Twenty-one-year-old Garrett Isakson and 21-year-old Casey Malan were able to escape. They were treated and released at an Eau Claire hospital.
"It was actually directly in front of us," said UW-Eau Claire Junior Lynzee Bath who lives across the street.
She and her roommate Brionna Quinehan witnessed the flames shooting out the top of the building.
"The entire top part of the building was engulfed in flames, you could see them coming out of the windows and everything," said Quinehan.
Livermore's mother, Linda told KARE 11 Monday night that all the men graduated from Stillwater High School in 2009. Her son was taking the semester off, but she says music was his passion.
"He loved to play his trombone," she said of her son.
Students were clearly shaken by the news.
"You hear about stuff like that happening in other cities," said Bath.
"But to actually see it, I've never seen a building actually burning down before," quickly added Quinehan.
It is still unclear how this fire started or if there were working fire alarms.
The owner of the building, who also runs the first floor reality business, did not want to comment Monday but was clearly shaken up when KARE 11 approached him.
The fire caused neighbors to think twice about their own safety.
"We talked about checking our fire alarms. We literally had that conversation about an hour ago," said Bath.
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