Category Archives: Fire

School District Plans Prescribed Prairie Burn

The South Milwaukee School District is planning a prescribed burn for the prairie grass around its high school and middle school campuses later this month.

Applied Ecological Services will do the burn, weather permitting, March 28-April 1.

Check out the school district letter here.

And here is more information on the schools’ prairie, and images from the previous burn (including a few shown in this post). This is a story about the benefits of prescribed burns.


Filed under Fire, Schools, South Milwaukee

Man Injured In South Milwaukee House Fire

House fire Minnesota

House fire Minnesota 3House fire Minnesota 2

A man suffered minor injuries from a house fire Thursday night in South Milwaukee.

The fire at 1622 Minnesota Ave. was reported shortly after 9:30 p.m.

Firefighters responded quickly and found a man outside who had escaped through a window. He suffered minor injuries, including smoke inhalation and lacerations, and was taken to the hospital. He is expected to be OK.

There is significant damage to the interior of the house.

Thanks to all of our firefighters for their work tonight.


Filed under Fire, South Milwaukee

A Special Valentine’s Day Wish

Look what Divine Mercy students dropped off at the South Milwaukee Fire Department on Friday … happy Valentine’s Day, indeed.

Thanks, kids.

Valentines cards

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Filed under Fire, Schools, South Milwaukee

New Firefighter Contract Approved

The city council has approved a new contract with the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1633.

The two-year deal — which begins Jan. 1, 2016, and ends Dec. 31, 2017 — includes 2% pay raises each year and a continued commitment by firefighters to pay the same toward their health insurance and pensions as all other employees do. The latter point is significant because it puts everyone on a level playing field, even though police and fire unions are exempted from Act 10 bargaining limitations.

The union has ratified the deal, and it replaces this contract.

The IAFF Local 1633 represents 21 South Milwaukee firefighters and paramedics, and I thank them for their work on this contract – another strong example of the type of collaboration that can happen among public employee unions and their employers.

And this is a partnership – our front-line firefighters and paramedics working with department and city leaders on matters that are truly life and death. We are only as good as our people when it comes to delivering our services, and we’re blessed to have some of the best in the SMFD.

Here is the statement from IAFF Local 1633 President Kurt Egner …

The Firefighters of Local 1633 are proud to serve the citizens of South Milwaukee. The Union values its partnership with the City and we are pleased to have participated in the smooth negotiation process that resulted in what we believe to be a reasonable agreement for both parties.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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Filed under City Council, Fire, South Milwaukee

Two Families Displaced In House Fire


From the South Milwaukee Fire Department Facebook page

At 5:05 this morning, SMFD rec’d a call for smoke in the upper unit of a two-story duplex at 1431 Michigan Ave. Upon arrival, units encountered a fire burning in the attic and a Full Still response requested (Oak Creek & Cudahy). The fire was quickly extinguished and extensive overhaul ensued to ensure the fire didn’t extend to more of the attic area under the blown-in insulation. Both mutual aid departments were cancelled. No injuries were reported. Two families were displaced, but declined assistance from the American Red Cross.

Please keep these families in your thoughts and prayers.

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Filed under Fire, South Milwaukee

Evacuation After Car Crashes Into Home, Ruptures Gas Meter


Update: Check out coverage from Fox 6 and CBS 58. And be sure to like my Facebook page for more timely updates. I initially posted something on this on Facebook shortly after it happened.

From the South Milwaukee Fire Department …

At approximately 5 PM this evening, SMFD responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash with injuries involving two vehicles. One of the vehicles ended up striking the front of a house and its gas meter. The area was evacuated since the flow of gas could not be stopped as the gas line was severed below the valve. WE Energies had to come in and dig up the gas main to clamp off the flow of gas. One patient was transported to the hospital for evaluation.

And from the South Milwaukee Police Department …

On 11-9-15 at 1653 hours numerous 911 callers reported a vehicle had crashed into the front of a house in the 800 block of Milwaukee Avenue in South Milwaukee.  The vehicle had caused the gas line to break at the house and people in that area were evacuated.  The accident was a two car accident and it appears the driver of the vehicle that struck the house accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the break.  The driver of the vehicle that struck the house had only minor injuries and was transported to the hospital for treatment.  Nobody else was injured.  The gas was shut off and people were allowed to go back in their homes after 90 minutes. 

Scary stuff, but deep thanks go out to all of the first responders from across the area for their quick action.

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Filed under Fire, Police, South Milwaukee

Milwaukee Avenue Fire One Of Three In The South Shore Since Thursday

Downtown fire 1 Downtown fire 2

Downtown fire 3

It was a busy Saturday for area fire departments, including a blaze in downtown South Milwaukee tonight.

More on the South Milwaukee fire from Fire Chief Joe Knitter …

At approximately 5:23 this evening, SMFD units responded to a report of flames coming from the roof of a building at 10th & Milwaukee near Parkway Floral.  As units exited the station, they could see a column of smoke rising into the sky from the area.  A Working Still response was requested by Capt. Sibley, bringing in our mutual aid neighbors.  Upon arrival of SMFD units, flames and heavy smoke could be seen coming from the roof area.  An interior size up showed fire involving the siding materials and wood framing of an light/air shaft located between the west wall of the building at 1003 Milwaukee Avenue and the east wall of the building that houses the Board Game Barrister. Hoselines were stretched into the apartment that the shaft served and the fire was extinguished.  A hoseline was also taken to the roof via our aerial ladder to extinguish some areas where the fire had extended.  Once again, our crews did an excellent job deploying the hoselines and controlling/extinguishing the fire in a very short time.  The light/air shaft was heavily damaged with moderate damage to the adjoining apartment and the attic area directly about the involved apartment.  Two families were displaced and the Red Cross was notified for their services.  The fire is currently under investigation. No injuries were reported.

And more on an Oak Creek fire early Saturday morning …

Oak Creek fire 1 Oak Creek fire 2

At 4:13 this morning, SMFD Truck 1671 and Chief 16 responded to the City of Oak Creek for a report of a fire in a residential building. OCFD units encountered significant fire involvement of the attic of the building upon their arrival and, after assuring that all occupants were accounted for, assumed a defensive fire attack. Truck 1671 was positioned on the C/D corner and provided their aerial stream and eventually went to the interior to conduct a thorough search and extinguish hot spots. The fire was escalated to a MABAS Box Alarm bringing in units from throughout Milwaukee County. No injuries were reported. The cause is under investigation.

There was also an apartment fire in Cudahy on Friday.

Thank you to our firefighters for their 24/7 commitment to keeping us safe … and please keep the families displaced by these fires in your thoughts and prayers.

For more photos — and for more regular and timely updates on news from around the area — be sure to like my mayoral Facebook page. I often update Facebook first. 

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Filed under Cudahy, Fire, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee