Oconto fire victims identified

Mother, three children died in early-morning fire Friday
Warren Bluhm
Oconto County Times Herald Editor

OCONTO — Counselors were made available at Oconto High School on Saturday to help grieving students after a mother and three children were killed early Friday morning in a house fire.

Authorities on Monday identified the victims as Katherine DeCoursin, 35, and her children Jeri Schroeder, 15, Dalton Schroeder, 13, and Nicholas DeCoursin Jr., 11.

The wooden two-story frame house at 907 Fabry St. was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived just before 3 a.m., Fire Chief John Reed said.

“During the suppression efforts, four individuals and one pet were found deceased in the fire scene,” Reed said in a news release Friday afternoon.

Fabry Street was closed to traffic, and police and fire personnel remained at the scene all morning. Shortly after noon, an excavator was deployed to knock down part of the house to reach the smoldering blaze.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims as we deal with this tragic loss in our community,” Police Chief Michael Rehberg said.

The cause of the fire and other details were still under investigation by the State Fire Marshal's office, Rehberg said.

Oconto departments were being assisted by the state Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, the Oconto County Sheriff’s Office and fire departments from Oconto Falls, Little River, Pensaukee and Bellevue.

Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Rhodes Charapata Funeral Home, 121 Chicago St., Oconto. Visitation is planned starting at 9 a.m. at the funeral home.

A benefit to help cover funeral expenses has been organized for 12-5 p.m. March 28 at Crivello’s, 818 Main St., Oconto. People interested in donating items or funds for bucket raffles, 50/50 or silent auctions may call Tracy at 920-373-5617 or Steve at 920-604-2154.