Sheriff's deputy Chad Billeb stated Tanya Rodriguez, 44, and James Carolfi (52), were electrocuted as they created art with a dangerous technique called fractal firewood burning. This method uses high-voltage electricity in order to create wood designs and is popular on social media platforms like TikTok.
Officials said that the equipment for fractal burning was responsible for the electrocutions. They also stated that it started a fire inside the garage where they were discovered. This fire spread to the rest the house on April 6.
WSAW TV reported that an investigation revealed that Carolfi and Rodriguez had both died before the fire.
The Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, State Fire Marshal, and the Marathon County District Attorney's Office provided assistance to the sheriff's department.
According to the American Association of Woodturners, at least 33 people died from fractal burning.
After a Washington woodworker was killed trying to use fractal burning, the AAW Safety Committee issued an ban on the practice in 2017.