Two children unaccounted for in last night’s Lander fire; Cause still being determined
(Lander, Wyo.) – According to a number of social media posts and fundraising webpage, last night’s savage fire in Lander destroyed the home of the Van Dijk family. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
There have been numerous reports that two of the family’s five children were killed in the blaze, but authorities have not confirmed any fatalities. Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan was at the scene this morning and when asked to confirm any fatalities, he said that no one had been found.
“We have two that are unaccounted for,” Fremont County Fire Protection District Warden Craig Haslam said. In a news release, Fremont County Undersheriff Ryan Lee reported that the missing are both children.
Posts across social media indicate that some family members have been flown out to a burn center and others are being treated at SageWest Lander. Haslam believed two were flown out, but he wasn’t sure to where.
The fire broke out at about 6:30 p.m. The home at the corner of Lyons Valley Road and Highway 287, along with two vehicles, are a complete loss. Haslam is working with the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office on the investigation. He said they have a couple theories as to the cause, but nothing is concrete at this time.
“Investigators from the Fremont County Sheriff and Coroner’s Offices, as well as officials from the Fremont County Fire District will be on the scene of the incident today searching for the two missing children and determining the origin and cause of the fire,” Lee said.
A fundraising page has been set up to make it easier for the community to help the family financially. As of 8:55 a.m. this morning, $4,310 had been raised through 43 donations in an eight hour period. Donate here. “I ask that the community keep this family in their thoughts throughout the day,” Lee said.
No firefighters were injured in the fight.