Two Stillwater students die in fire

Photo courtesy of Steve Kinderman, Eau Claire Leader-Telegram
Firefighters with the Eau Claire Fire Department fight a fire Monday morning that killed two University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students from Stillwater and injured two others.

Two other Stillwater natives injured in early-morning blaze


EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Two University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students from Stillwater were among three people killed in separate holiday weekend fires in western Wisconsin.

The Eau Claire Police Department and UW-EC officials identified the victims as 21-year-old Ross Livermore and 22-year-old Jacob Clarkson, both of Stillwater. Livermore died in the Monday morning fire at


an off-campus residence and Clarkson died Tuesday afternoon at a Minneapolis hospital from injuries he suffered in the blaze.

Two other students from Stillwater — Garret Isakson, 21, a junior management major; and Casey Malan, 21, a senior English major — were treated for injuries and released from an Eau Claire hospital.


UW-EC officials said four students lived in an off-campus residence near the school. Livermore, a sophomore computer science major, was on leave from the university this semester, school officials added.

Clarkson, a senior computer science major, was airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis for treatment of serious burns, according to an Eau Claire Police Department statement.


Clarkson died Tuesday from injuries he suffered in the blaze, said HCMC spokeswoman Christine Hill.

Clarkson’s family released the following statement:

“Today we said goodbye to our son, brother, uncle, grandson, nephew and cousin, Jacob.

“Jacob enjoyed life and willed that others would have the chance for life, too. That’s why we’re honoring his decision to be an organ donor. We are so proud of him — and we miss him more than words can say.

“Thanks to everyone who kept our family in their prayers during this difficult time. Please continue to pray for us and also for Ross’ family as we grieve the loss of our sons.”

Eau Claire Fire Department Deputy Chief Scott Burkart said the two-alarm fire was reported about 5:45 a.m. Monday at a residence where the four men lived in the 600 block of Water Street, about five blocks from the UW-EC campus.

Most of the fire was confined to the second-floor rented residence, Burkart added.

“The investigation is ongoing and the significant damage to the structure is slowing down the process,” he said.

UW-EC officials said the school is assisting students displaced by the fire and providing counseling services to those affected.

The deadly Eau Claire fire occurred three days after a blaze Friday night claimed the life of a Somerset Township man.

The St. Croix County, Wis., Sheriff’s Office identified the victim of that fire as Thomas Cook. Investigators added that Cook’s wife managed to escape the fire and was treated and released from Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

Friday’s occurred at a residence in the 2100 block of CTH I near Somerset. After arriving on scene, emergency personnel were told one person escaped the blaze and another person was still in the residence.

After the fire was extinguished, emergency personnel found Cook’s remains in the residence.

The fire remains under investigation by the SCCSO and Wisconsin State Fire Marshal’s Office. The Somerset and St. Joseph Fire departments were assisted by the Osceola, New Richmond and Hudson Fire departments.