Tag Archives: South Milwaukee fire

Another South Milwaukee House Fire — And, Again, No Injuries

710 Marshall - 1 710 Marshall - 2From South Milwaukee Fire Chief Joe Knitter …

At approximately 6:36PM this evening, SMFD rec’d a 9-1-1 call for a house fire at 701 Marshall Avenue.  Upon arrival of SMFD units, smoke was observed coming from the second floor windows.  The sole male occupant of the single-family residence had self-evacuated prior to our arrival.  Crews entered the building and discovered a fire burning in a bathroom on the second floor.  The entire second floor, with the exception of two bedrooms to which the doors were closed, suffered extensive smoke damage. The bathroom suffered damage from the fire, as well as damage from the water used to extinguish the fire. The first floor suffered moderate smoke and water damage. Due to the damage, the occupant was told he could not stay in the house this evening and was offered assistance from the American Red Cross, which he refused stating he had family he could rely on.

The fire was contained to the second floor bathroom.  The probable cause of the fire is careless use of smoking materials based on statements made by the male occupant. No injuries were reported.

Thanks to our firefighters for their continued service, keeping us safe from harm.

(And thanks to Working Still Photos for the images.)

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Fire Update: Cause Remains “Undetermined”

“After a detailed examination of the scene and interviews with the occupants and witnesses, the area of origin of the fire has been identified as the northwest corner of the enclosed porch. All electrical, mechanical and natural causes have been eliminated, however, the cause of the fire remains undetermined.”

Here is the full press release from the South Milwaukee Fire Department.

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No One Hurt In South Milwaukee House Fire

Marquette fire 1 Marquette fire 2

Thankfully, everyone got out safe following the house fire at Ninth and Marquette Avenues this evening. Please keep this family in your prayers — and thank a firefighter. I will post more details when I get them.


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Fire Damages Michigan Avenue Home

1725 Michigan (1)From the South Milwaukee Fire Department …

At approximately 5:14PM last evening (Tuesday, June 10), SMPD Dispatch rec’d a telephone call from a male caller who stated he needed a fire engine at 1725 Michigan Avenue and hung up the phone.  Without knowing the exact nature of the call or even if an emergency existed, SMFD responded with an engine to investigate.  While responding, Capt. McCoy could see a column of smoke rising into the sky in the area of the call and immediately requested that the level of response be upgraded to a Working Still for a structure fire.  The Working Still level brings in assistance from our mutual aid partners.  Upon their arrival, the encountered a single-family Capt Cod style house with heavy smoke “pushing” from the attic.  Hoselines were deployed to attack the fire while additional personnel and equipment arrived and an SMFD attack crew made their way into the 2nd floor and attic and extinguished the fire.  No injuries were reported.  Damage to the attic and 2nd floor was significant.  As can be seen in the attached photos, the house was being re-roofed at the time and both the workers and the homeowners reported that their 60-amp electrical service repeatedly blew fuses when the contractor’s air compressor kicked in.  The fire remains under investigation by SMFD Lt. Frost, but involvement of the electrical system cannot be ruled out absent a detailed examination by a qualified electrical professional.

Here is coverage from TMJ4.

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Garage And Brush Fire Overnight

509 Marquette-2Here is the update from Fire Chief Joe Knitter on the fire Saturday morning on and near Marquette Avenue …

At 4:48AM, SMFD was dispatched to a possible brush fire on the lake bank at the end of Menomonee Avenue at Lake Shore Blvd.  While responding, the SMFD engine was notified by Dispatch of a garage fire in the alley behind 509 Marquette Avenue.  The SMFD engine re-directed to that fire and encountered a detached one-car garage fully involved in fire.  While responding from home, I then responded to investigate the brush fire call and discovered a large area of brush burning down the bank and spreading rapidly due to the winds coming off the lake.  I requested a Cudahy engine that was responding to the garage fire to respond to my location and had them extinguish the fire on the lake bank.  An Oak Creek engine was directed to staff our station during these fires.

Investigators remain on the scene at the garage fire at this time.  However, due to the destruction, identifying a positive cause will be very difficult.  No injuries were reported. The garage and its contents are a total loss.  In addition, the vinyl siding on the house at 509 Marquette, the garage at 511 Marquette and the garage across the alley at 510 Montana Avenue suffered damage from radiant heat.

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No One Hurt In House Fire

Here is the update from South Milwaukee Fire Chief Joe Knitter on the fire Tuesday morning on Elm Avenue …

At 10:28 this morning, SMFD Dispatch rec’d a 9-1-1 call of a smell of smoke in the house and smoke coming from the attic at 717 Elm Avenue.  SMFD responded and upon arrival discovered moderate smoke coming from the roof and attic vents.  SMFD Command upgraded the level of response to a Working Still which includes our mutual aid partners.  All of the occupants were out of the home upon arrival of SMFD. Attack lines were stretched to the interior of the house to find fire involving the area above the cabinet soffit in the kitchen up into the attic and exiting through the roof vent.  The fire was extinguished using minimal water.  Because the fire was primarily located in the soffit and attic area, damage from direct flame contact and heat/smoke was more severe in the attic. The first floor suffered minor water and smoke damage.  The occupants contacted their insurance company who was making arrangements for temporary housing. No injuries were reported.  Investigators identified the area of origin in the cabinet soffit in the area above the kitchen sink.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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Update: Woman Dies Following South Milwaukee House Fire

Update: The victim has been identified as 58-year old Kay Bertrand, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Here is her obituary from Molthen-Bell & Son Funeral Home. 

Tragic news from the South Milwaukee Fire Department: The woman rescued from Thursday’s blaze at 717 St. Sylvester’s Drive has since died.

Please continue to keep this woman’s family in your prayers.


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Woman Rescued From South Milwaukee House Fire

From the South Milwaukee Fire Department …

At approximately 1:32 pm the South Milwaukee Fire Dept responded to a 911 call for the report of a residential house fire at 717 St. Sylvester Drive.

Upon arrival, fire units initial report of fire on first floor.  Firefighters searched the 2nd floor and located a female occupant, extricated her outside to safety, then transported her to Columbia St. Mary’s and condition is unknown at this time.

Fire is under investigation and the State Fire Marshall has been called to the scene to assist in the investigation.

Fox 6 has coverage. I’ll keep you posted.


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Fire Damages Lake Drive Home In South Milwaukee

1212 Lake Drive - Exterior (1)Update: Check out coverage from WISN

Thankfully, no one was hurt in the fire Friday night 1212 Lake Drive in South Milwaukee.

South Milwaukee Fire Chief Joe Knitter has more details …

At approximately 11:31 PM Friday evening, South Milwaukee Police Dispatch received a 9-1-1 call from the occupant of 1212 Lake Drive reporting a possible fire in the walls of her upstairs bathroom.  The occupant and her Grandson self-evacuated from the residence prior to arrival of SMFD.  Upon arrival of SMFD crews, heavy smoke was issuing from the front door of the dwelling so the level of alarm was immediately upgraded to a Working Still (equivalent to a first alarm assignment) and mutual aid companies from our neighboring communities responded with the exception of the St. Francis Fire Department who was not available due to a simultaneous call in their community.

Since reports were that all occupants of the structure had evacuated, crews deployed hoselines to the second floor and discovered fire burning through the wall and ceiling area of the bathroom.  A primary search of the building was conducted by the first arriving mutual aid company.  Upon attacking the fire and pulling more lath and plaster to check for fire extension, it was discovered that the fire had progressed considerably, to the extent that it had completely burned through several ceiling joists and wall studs.  Extensive overhaul was necessary and crews were rotated through to expose all areas of possible fire extension.  The fire was declared under control at approximately 12:14 AM.  The last apparatus cleared the scene at 2:23 AM.

Our Fire Investigator is currently on the scene attempting to determine the origin and cause of the fire.  Dollar loss is not available at this time, but damage was extensive to the second floor.  A great effort was put forth to cover furniture and other valuables on the first floor with plastic tarps to limit the amount of water damage.

During the fire, an Oak Creek Fire Department Paramedic Unit had to cover a call for chest pain at Southtowne Village Apartments since there were no SMFD personnel available.

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Update: Boy Taken To Hospital In Downtown Apartment Fire

1231 Milwaukee Avenue - Exterior1231 Milwaukee Avenue - Apartment

A boy suffered burns to his fingers in Thursday afternoon’s apartment fire at 1231 Milwaukee Ave.

Here is the update from South Milwaukee Fire Chief Joe Knitter …

At approximately 2:50PM, SMFD received a call from SMPD Dispatch of a cell phone call from the apartment building at 1231 Milwaukee Avenue reporting a fire in an apartment.  Upon arrival of SMFD units, SMPD officers were evacuating the residents and reported one juvenile male with burns to the fingertips of both hands.  This patient was treated at the scene and transported to St. Luke’s – South Shore Hospital by ambulance for further treatment.  SMFD units gained access to the 2nd floor and encountered heavy smoke conditions and a well-involved fire in one apartment, extending to the common hallway and attic area.  Extra assistance was immediately requested from our mutual aid partners and additional units arrived and were put to work. One apartment towards the rear of the building suffered extensive damage with heavy smoke damage to most of the second floor and minor water damage to the first floor apartment and business.  The fire was kept from extending into the attic.  The origin of the fire appears to be in the 2nd floor apartment with the cause still under investigation.  All of the occupants were accounted for and the Red Cross Disaster Team was on the scene providing them with assistance.  The Building Inspector was requested to the scene as overall damage to the 2nd floor is extensive.  No other injuries were reported.

h/t South Milwaukee Fire Department for the photos

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One Person Hurt In Milwaukee Avenue Fire

A person suffered burns to their hands after an apartment building caught fire Thursday afternoon at 1231 Milwaukee Ave. in South Milwaukee.

TMJ4 is reporting nine people were displaced due to the fire.

I’ll post more details when I get them … and please keep those families, and our firefighters, in your prayers.

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Small Fire Reported At South Milwaukee’s Civic Arms Apartments

There was a small fire in one of the Civic Arms Apartments on Wednesday night.

From an email sent by Acting South Milwaukee Fire Chief Joe Knitter …

During the height of all the fireworks last night, SMPD rec’d a call from a tenant of the Civic Arms apartment building at 2005 10th Avenuereporting that their fire alarms were going off. Arriving SMPD officers (Klipfel & Fournier) discovered the sprinkler system activated and smoke pouring out from underneath the door of apartment 110. This information was relayed to SMFD and, due to simultaneous EMS calls occurring at this time, Captain Czajkowski and I responded with an engine and were met by one of our ambulances that had just freed up from another call.  Because of the reduced staffing, mutual aid was requested from our neighbors. Upon our arrival, we discovered that a fire had started on the stove top in that apartment and spread to the cabinets above.  Once the fire grew to a sufficient size, it activated the sprinkler head in the kitchen which extinguished the fire.  It is without a doubt that the sprinkler head activating saved that building from extensive damage.  A big thanks to Officers Klipfel and Fournier for assisting with evacuating all the occupants from the building. Investigation revealed that the occupants were cooking just prior to the power going out and inadvertently left the stove burner on when they left the building to seek shelter at another location.  Once the power was restored, the burner heated up the cookware on top, overheated it and caused it to burn.  Fire damage was limited to the kitchen with water damage in the kitchen and living room.

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Small House Fire In South Milwaukee

There was a small house fire Saturday evening at 625 Sherman Ave. in South Milwaukee.

No one was hurt, and the excessive heat made it a difficult one to fight. It also provides a good reminder about overloading electrical outlets.

Here is the report from Acting South Milwaukee Fire Chief Joe Knitter …

The original call came in from the occupancy reporting a smell of smoke in a second floor bedroom of the two-story dwelling. Arriving personnel encountered an odor and light smoke on the second floor and after a intensive search, discovered wood framing members, cellulose insulation and a plastic (PVC) plumbing vent stack burning in a roof area above a rear addition to the dwelling. Due to a lack of access to the area, the roof had to be opened up to expose the fire and complete extinguishment and overhaul. Due to the excessive heat of the day, additional SMFD personnel were sent to the scene to assist in the overhaul process. In true SMFD fashion, crews cleaned up the debris in the house and yard and returned as much of the yard to normal to assist the family with their plans for a yard party tomorrow. The cause of the fire was attributed to overheated electrical wires on a circuit that was overtaxed due to two window air conditioners being powered off of the single circuit. The family was extremely appreciative of our efforts and even apologetic for calling on such a hot day! Nice job by all involved and Capt. Czajkowski for organizing the scene. No injuries were reported.

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Consolidation Update: City Council Backs Funding For Public Policy Forum Study

Should South Milwaukee consolidate its fire, emergency medical and/or dispatch services with Cudahy and St. Francis?

I think it’s much too early to say. We need facts.

And that’s what the three cities are seeking in a study to be done by the Public Policy Forum.

For its part, the South Milwaukee City Council vote unanimously to authorize spending $5,000 toward our portion of the study at its meeting Tuesday night.

Check out the resolution here. From it:

… The City of South Milwaukee hereby pledges its support and authorizes $5,000 in financial assistance to participate in the Public Policy Forum’s fact-based effort to review the potential for coordinating, sharing, or consolidating fire services, EMS services, police dispatch, and/or fire dispatch services as a means of improving the cost-effectiveness and maintaining the quality of such services to the extent possible. 

St. Francis and Cudahy were expected to approve the same resolution Tuesday night.

I look forward to the results of the study and the information it will give us toward helping make this decision — one that we have to consider as we confront a $160,000 loss of paramedic revenue from the county this year (and another significant cut likely in 2013).

I continue to believe strongly that consolidation should be explored with some of our city services, especially in these economics times. At the same time, I will be hesitant to support a consolidated service that is any worse than the existing service.

In other words, if we can do it the same or better for less money, great. If not, I would have a hard time backing the change.

I’ll keep you posted.


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Report: No One Hurt In South Milwaukee Fire

Update: The fire, reported at 1:47 a.m. Tuesday, causd an estimated $35,000 in damage, according to the Fire Department. A neighbor reported seeing flames in a second-story window, called it in and apparently helped the person get out of the house.

There was a bedroom fire at 214 Laurel Lane early Tuesday morning, but thankfully no one was hurt. Check out the story and video on Fox 6.

I’ll keep you posted if I learn more.

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