Ice shoves destroy family cottage

STOCKBRIDGE (WLUK) -- The ice shoves along Lake Winnebago got a little too close for comfort for one homeowner in Calumet County Wednesday.

"It was ridiculous. I could not believe the power it had," said homeowner Roger Roth, who's a Wisconsin state senator.

Roth said he was across the lake when he was admiring the ice shoves. Ice shoves are created when melting ice breaks up and the wind pushes chunks up along the shore.

"I watched it just sort of climb and climb and get higher and higher and it was a beautiful scene until I realized this is hitting my house," he said.

Roth said the ice shoves took out his dock and it pushed his house back about two feet.

"I could see the smoke coming from the foundation and I realized we have a problem here," he said.

Fire crews were called to the home near Faro Springs and Harrison roads in the Stockbridge area around 3 p.m.

Stockbridge Fire Chief Michael Funk said the ice shoves moved the house off the foundation and caused an electrical short in the wall. Firefighters put out the fire within 15 minutes.

The ice filled the basement and moved its way through the house.

No one was in the home at the time of the incident.

Funk says it's not often the ice becomes so high it destroys buildings. And Thursday morning, one ice expert told FOX 11 News he's never seen ice shoves on Lake Winnebago in February as has been the case this year.

Both Funk and Roth agree, the home is a total loss.

Crews walked along the lake shore to check if other homes may be at risk.

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