Fatal Fire In Ripon

A 32-year-old Ripon man died during a fire in the 200 block of Watson Street Saturday afternoon. Ripon Police Captain Bill Wallner says one tenant was evacuated from an upstairs apartment and the fire department forced entry into another. They found smoke and flames inside one of them. They extinguished the fire and after doing so found a man who was renting the apartment. He says Stephen Dahlke was taken downstairs and out to a sidewalk where CPR was performed on him. He was eventually taken to Ripon Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. There was smoke and water damage throughout the building including to a downstairs business. He says it could have been worse. He says fires can get out of control quickly in older buildings because of the way they are built. Ripon Police and Fire Departments and the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation are investigating the cause and origin of the fire.