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Beleaguered pol hit again

Newcomer: fate kept fire from being worse

Dec. 8, 2009

Town of Genesee — he cause of the Saturday morning fire that resulted in $1 million in damages to the Genesee Center, S47 W30760 Highway 59, was likely electrical in nature, according to property owner Rep. Scott Newcomer (R-Delafield).

"The biggest thing is nobody got hurt. That's a blessing," he said.

"In talking to the lead investigator, it appears to be an electrical fire that started in or above the (hair) salon," he added.

Newcomer said arson was not suspected.

"It was 110 percent either electrical or possibly the furnace. We're really waiting for the insurance investigator to come in and do their due diligence," Newcomer added.

The Waukesha County Sheriff's department was unable to confirm the cause of the fire before press time. Capt. Karen Ruff said the incident remains under investigation.

The strip mall includes Lake Country Pool & Spa, a woodworking shop and the hair salon.

"There was heavy smoke damage," Newcomer said of the other businesses.

He said that a couple of coincidences helped to keep the situation from escalating.

"Fortunately, one of the county's sheriff's (deputies) was doing patrol through there and saw smoke at 5:30 a.m. and called the fire department at North Prairie. They all happened to be there for a 6 a.m. practice," he said.

Firefighters from Wales-Genesee, North Prairie, Town of Waukesha, Mukwonago and Eagle assisted.

It has been a difficult year for the state representative, who is seeking re-election in the 33rd district, running against Larry Krause and Joe DeKlotz. Both candidates declined to comment on the fire.

Personal issues have plagued Newcomer this year, including a divorce from his wife of nearly 20 years, as well as being targeted by a Hartland man, Keith Brouwer, who claimed Newcomer was having an affair with his estranged wife, and financial issues.

Brouwer said his wife sold half of Lake Country Pool and Spa to Newcomer.

According to court documents, American Express Bank has filed a lawsuit against Newcomer and Lake Country Pools LLC. American Express claims the business has $35,015 in unpaid credit card bills, according to the suit filed June 29.

Also, the state Department of Revenue has filed seven tax warrants against the business for delinquent taxes totaling more than $31,000.

This year, four lawsuits have also been filed against the firm, naming Brouwer's ex-wife as well as four small claims. Two of the lawsuits have been settled, totaling nearly $30,000 in judgments.

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