RACINE, Wis. - Crews were called to the report of a fire at a 16-unit apartment building on Anthony Lane in Racine around 10:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25.
First arriving companies encountered heavy smoke and fire conditions in the basement that were rapidly spreading to the first and second floors. The search for victims was carried out in very challenging conditions. Five Racine firefighters received minor slip/trip injuries due to icy and slippery conditions with temperatures just above 0.
After battling the flames for 50 minutes, Fire Command ordered all firefighters to evacuate the building with concern for structural stability after a hole was discovered burned through the floor of a first-floor apartment. Defensive operations continued into the early morning hours.
A Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) Box was requested with assistance from Caledonia, Oak Creek, and South Shore Fire Departments in addition to an emergency recall of all off-duty Racine Firefighters to bolster on-scene resources and staff empty fire stations.
Red Cross is assisting displaced tenants.
No civilian injuries were reported.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Damage estimates are a total loss to the structure of $433,000 and $200,000 of contents.
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