Fire destroys home on Knight’s Lane in Howard

Three Red Cross volunteers assisted the family with comfort kits, home-made quilts and after the fire packs. Chief Ed Janke is a member of the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter board of directors.

By Charles Davis/Press-Gazette: Click HERE to view video.


HOWARD — A 21-year-old man escaped serious injury this morning in a fire that destroyed a Howard home.

Firefighters from six departments fight a stubborn fire in a house on Knights Lane in Howard Friday, March 11, 2011. / Jim Matthews/Press-Gazette

Jayson Blake was alone in the lower level of the home at 3149 Knight’s Lane when he woke up surrounded by smoke about 8 a.m. Blake escaped out the front door before crews arrived to flames and heavy smoke coming from the home. He was taken to a local hospital as a precaution but did not appear to be injured, Howard fire Chief Ed Janke said.

 The fire is believed to have started in the garage and crews took nearly two hours to put it out. Two cars parked in the driveway were not damaged.

 The ranch-style house is described as a total loss.

 The home is owned by Kevin and Marla Van Lanen and valued at $144,700, according to Brown County land records. Blake is Marla Van Lanen’s son.

 Kevin Van Lanen said he lives there with his wife and three sons. The family has fire insurance and will stay with relatives, he said.

 The Pulaski, Hobart, Green Bay, Suamico and Denmark fire departments assisted.

Help the Red Cross by Shredding Your Confidential Information

A.R.M.S. and Nicolet National Bank are teaming up for an event to encourage the proper disposal of sensitive documents and help the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter at the same time.  The community shred event will take place 9 a.m. – Noon, Saturday, November 6, 2010 at the Nicolet Bank locations in Ashwaubenon, Bellevue, De Pere and Howard

“All too often, documents containing sensitive information get tossed in the trash before first getting shredded and with identity theft on the rise, proper disposal is crucial,” said Eric Haas, president of A.R.M.S, a full-service, commercial records center located in De Pere.  “Knowing that many folks complete paper purges before the end of the year, we knew this was the perfect time to encourage proper destruction, all while helping to benefit the Red Cross.” 

Residents can bring up to three boxes of documents per person.  A donation to the Red Cross of $5 per box is suggested.  The following Nicolet National Bank locations are participating in the event:

2363 Holmgren Way in Ashwaubenon, 2082 Monroe Road in Bellevue, 2380 Dousman Street in Howard and 1610 Lawrence Drive in De Pere.  

During the event, mobile shredding trucks from A.R.M.S. will be parked at each participating Nicolet National Bank location.  The vehicles are designed to deposit a bin full of documents to be shredded into the truck with a push of a button.  “Our trucks have a screen for our team members to watch the documents being dropped into the shredder so they’re assured no documents are left behind or have fallen out of the bin,” said Haas.  “Once everything is shredded, we make sure the waste is recycled.”                                                                          

Executive director for the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter, Steve Maricque, says events like the shred event are important as the needs of families today are greater than ever.  “During a time of disaster (such as a family home fire) that need is even more apparent,” he said.  “A gift to the American Red Cross will provide immediate shelter, food and clothing to a family when they need it most.  For example, $50 will provide shelter for a family for one night.”

Representatives from A.R.M.S., Nicolet National Bank and the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter will be on hand during the event to talk about the importance of protecting sensitive information as well as supporting the local Red Cross.

For more information about the shredding event, please contact A.R.M.S. at (920) 339-0135 or Nicolet National Bank at (920) 430-1400.

Founded in 1983, A.R.M.S. (Automated Records Management Systems) provides information management and protection services to businesses throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.  As a full-service commercial records center, A.R.M.S. provides “Information Management from Inception through Destruction” for customers ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 firms. For more information visit


Media Contact:

Beth Kneisler

Leonard & Finco Public Relations

(920) 965-7750

Partners Investing in the Positive

On Thursday, May 27, supporters of the Red Cross Lakeland Chapter demonstrated that community really means being there for each other. Local heroes partnered together in the first ever Firefighters’ Bucket Brigade for the Red Cross, which was a part of the Heroes fund raising campaign.

Our heroes from the following fire departments supported the Red Cross Lakeland Chapter in the Bucket Brigade: Abrams, Ashwaubenon, Green Bay, Bellevue, De Pere, Howard, Suamico, and Pulaski. Austin Straubel Public Safety and 911 Dispatch also pitched in to help. These heroes together with Emergency Services Director, Judy Gregory, and the Lakeland Chapter Disaster Action Team raised over $5,700.


The Red Cross is always there when we call for the victims and for us so it’s my way of giving back for all they do,” says Assistant Chief Rick Race from the town of Abrams Fire Department.

Fire fighters from the many participating departments along with Red Cross volunteers were stationed at several locations in Brown and Oconto County to collect donations and talk about their partnership. Fire fighters brought a fire truck to each location for an inside peak at the technology and apparatus used to save lives. Volunteers worked hard to raise awareness of the fundraising efforts. Fire fighters from the town of Abrams even pumped peoples gas for a donation.

Nancy Mirhashemi, Red Cross Volunteer, says she saw a great deal of foot traffic on the beautiful day. “People have been very generous.”

For Karli Piper, one of the volunteers from Brown County Public Safety Communications Center, it was an opportunity to help out and spend time with her daughter. “I like to be out in the community as much as possible.”

“Public education and safety is at the heart of what we do.” Lt. Dave Walters, of Austin Straubel Public Safety, says their primary responsibility is to be available for commercial operations for aircraft but they also serve many functions as a fire department. This event was an opportunity to work with other departments and agencies while engaging with the community to spread the word on an important cause.

Red Cross disaster relief focuses on enabling individuals and families affected by disaster to independently resume their normal daily activities by meeting their emergency disaster-caused needs. When a disaster threatens or strikes, the Red Cross provides shelter, clothing, food, and health and mental health services to address basic human needs. The Red Cross also feeds emergency workers, handles inquiries from concerned family members outside the disaster area, provides blood and blood products to hospitals treating disaster victims, and helps those affected by disaster to access other available resources.

“I believe in The Red Cross; I think they do wonderful things for people,” says Linda Safford. As a volunteer from Brown County Public Safety Communications Center she hopes to be back next year. “We just all give a little part and make it successful.”

All of us together make a great team. We really do,” says Linda Safford.