NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) – Twelve people are now without a home after an apartment building caught on fire Sunday afternoon in Neenah.
According to a release, Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue responded to a call at 12:15 p.m. on Sunday about a reported structure fire on Marathon Avenue.
Crews arrived at the apartment building at 2116 Marathon Avenue within six minutes and say they saw smoke and fire coming out of an apartment on the second floor.
Firefighters say they dealt with extreme heat and smoke inside the apartment as they tried to put out the fire. One firefighter reportedly hurt his knee while trying to get out of the extreme heat.
Crews were able to put out the fire but say they had to take out the ceiling of the apartment to do so. They also say they had to cut holes in the side of the building to release the smoke from the building’s attic.
According to authorities, the fire was contained to just one apartment however, other apartments on the second floor had smoke damage and the apartment below the fire had water damage leaving two apartments in the building unfit to live in.
Officials say the building had working smoke detectors and the fire alarm system worked the way it is supposed to but there was no sprinkler system in place.
The twelve residents that are now without a home are being assisted by the American Red Cross. One of the twelve has minor burns to their hands and face after allegedly trying and failing to extinguish the fire when they first found it.
The fire is considered to be accidental and was reportedly started by careless use of smoke material. Damages are estimated to be $400,000.