The Ladysmith Fire Department responded Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 8, to a report of a structure fire at a home in the W7600 block of Old 8 Road. Fire Chief Kyle Gibbs described the scene as a small fire in a storage room in the basement. He thanked homeowners for being able to use a fire extinguisher to put the flames out with minimal damage. Firefighters cleared the scene in about one hour with no damage visible from outside. The Rusk County Sheriff’s Department and Rusk County Ambulance Service also responded.


Luke Klink | Ladysmith News

The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office is seeking a suspect in a suspected arson Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 8.

The suspect is Otis Hamilton, who also stole several firearms from the home where a structure fire was reported on Tuesday in the W7600 block of Old 8 Road. Hamilton is believed to be under the influence and suicidal. He was last seen wearing a gray sweatshirt, blue jeans and white hat. He also has a beard.

The direction of travel from the scene was unknown, and deputies were patrolling the area following the fire. Residents were being told to lock doors and remove keys from vehicles.

Rusk County did not know where he might be traveling to, but advised caution if officers made contact with him.

Anyone who knows Hamilton’s whereabouts should not approach him and should contact local law enforcement or contact the RCSO at 715-532-2200.

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