From 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.)
“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.
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.
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.
Here 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.
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.
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.