44° F

Father, uncle arrested in fatal Argyle fire

Published On: Sep 09 2012 10:56:28 AM CDT   Updated On: Sep 10 2012 01:37:38 AM CDT
Armin Wand III
ARGYLE, Wis. -

The father and uncle of three children who were killed in a house fire on Friday in southwestern Wisconsin have been arrested on suspicion of arson.

SLIDESHOW: See photos of suspects, Argyle house fire scene 

The arrests were announced Sunday in a joint news release from the Village of Argyle Police Department, the Lafayette County Sheriff's Department, and the State Fire Marshal at the Division of Criminal Investigation.

Authorities said the father, Armin Wand III, of Argyle, is facing a tentative charge of arson of a building with intent to defraud.

The uncle, 18-year-old Jeremy Wand, also of Argyle, faces the same felony charge.

The statement said the investigation into Friday's fire is ongoing and no further information is available at this time.

The boys' mother, Sharon Wand, 27, remains in critical condition at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.

Her sister-in-law said that Wand is four months pregnant, posting on Facebook over the weekend that "The doctors are not holding out much hope for her … and even less for the baby."

Shortly after 3 a.m. Friday, crews responded to a house fire in the 400 block of Oak Street.

While Sharon Wand, her husband, and their 2-year-old daughter escaped the fire alive, their three sons, ages 3, 5, and 7, did not.

Argyle police confirmed that Allen Wand, 7, Jeffery Wand, 5, and Joseph Wand, 3, died in the fire.

After the arrests were announced, neighbors were understandably shocked.

"The tragedy was bad enough, but now this it makes it much worse," said neighbor Lee Zurfluh.

Zurfluh said he hoped that the fire was caused by an electrical short or that maybe someone fell asleep while smoking a cigarette.

Anything. But not this.

"We just didn't think anyone could do that to the children," exclaimed Zurfluh.

Two days after the tragedy, Zurfluh got a message from his priest.

"He talked about how our problems, tragedies are so small, compared to like when something like this happens," said Zurfluh.

"It was sadness up until now," said neighbor Jada Berget. "It's frustration, anger."

Berget has four kids who went to school with the Wand boys.

"It would've probably been more closure to know it was just some horrible accident," said Berget. "I can't help to think forever I'll look out my window and think about my children."

What really happened on Oak Street will remain behind the walls of the Lafayette County Jail.

At least for now.

  • World Series Game 1 Progressive Field wide shot

    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    2016 World Series: Cubs even things up

    The 2016 World Series started Oct. 25, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, with the National League champion Chicago Cubs and the American League champion Cleveland Indians.

  • PHOTOS: Vilas Zoo announces new holiday lights exhibit

    The Henry Vilas Zoo will light up nights this holiday season with its new Zoo Lights event. The Zoo Lights exhibit will offer zoo-goers a stroll down Candy Cane Lane with festive lights and sounds. Zoo organizers announced the Zoo Light exhibit Wednesday and said thousands of lights will transform the zoo into a winter wonderland Nov. 25-Jan. 1.

    Admission is $7 and Zoo Lights will run Thursdays through Sundays beginning at 5:30 p.m.

  • Takata air bag recall by the numbers - blurb

    Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    Takata air bag recall by the numbers

    Millions of cars have been recalled due to defective Takata air bags across the world. One in every 10 cars in the U.S. is affected by the recall, Automotive News reports. The publication is calling this the "recall of the century," as up to 90 million more recalls are possible.