ROSENDALE - Authorities have identified a man who died in a Rosendale house fire as 54-year-old Joseph M. Shafer of Rosendale.
Crews found his body in the burned home, and officials say their investigation shows Shafer pre-planned the fire.
The home is located at the corner of Highway 26 and Wisconsin Avenue just north of the main intersection in Rosendale.
Just before 3:20 p.m. Friday, the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Department was called to check on a suicidal man at this Rosendale home.
"We found out he was gonna start his house on fire there were gas cans out there, he supposedly had some stuff set up for combustibles," said Chief Deputy Mark Strand
Strand told FOX 11 when law enforcement arrived there was already smoke coming from the house. So they set up a perimeter and evacuated the other buildings within a block.
"There were fuses coming out of the house which were on fire into the garage and there were large fireworks and boxes that said "keep fire away," so because of that we didn't know what we had," said Strand.
Officers and firefighters were worried about a possible explosion. So they sent a robot into the house with a camera to see what was inside. Firefighters were then able to put water on any possible explosions.
"He was pretty methodical in setting the whole thing up," said Strand.
At that point firefighters were able to go in the house to battle the flames and look for the man. No one else was inside the house at the time.
"With the smoke and the fire I don't think anyone could sustain that," said Strand.
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