Ripon's police chief says there's no evidence of a crime in the fire that destroyed three buildings in the city's historic downtown. Chief Dave Lukoski said Friday the cause of Wednesday's fire remains undetermined, but that there's no evidence of an intentional criminal act. He says numerous accidental causes can't be eliminated as of yet. Federal and state agents joined local authorities in the fire investigation. Ripon Area Fire District Chief Tim Saul says ice coating the buildings has made it difficult to investigate. He says stability of the buildings is an issue and walls will be taken down piece by piece.
The fire displaced nearly two dozen upstairs apartment tenants. Meanwhile the Ripon Chamber of Commerce issued a statement Friday concerning donations for fire victims. The Chamber says the immediate needs of those displaced by the fire have been met. Traded Treasures located at 102 W Jackson St. is still accepting donations but they cannot guarantee your donated items will go directly to the families. Donations will be used for other individuals and families who may need assistance. At this time Traded Treasures is requesting donations of food for the Ripon Community Food Pantry and cash donations for the Ripon Community Food Pantry.