HOWARD, Wis. (WFRV) – Multiple tenants were left stranded after their apartment complex caught fire just before sunrise. One tenant says before evacuating, he had never been more terrified in his life.

“I have never been so scared in my life never, never been so scared, and I got a whole family to take care of it is hard,” said Tyler Courchaine.  

First responders were dispatched to an apartment fire on Lavander Lane around 4 a.m. Courchaine says he did not see flames, but he knew something was wrong. 

“It was hot the lights didn’t work, the fans didn’t work. I crawled into the attic of the apartment building I didn’t see any flames or anything, but it was really hot and smokey up there. The smoke alarms didn’t go off or anything: it hadn’t reached inside the apartment units yet,” said Courchaine.

Courchaine says he escaped the building with his one-year-old son and fiancé, who is expecting.

“It was bad. The baby was sleeping in the next room. Newborn coming soon in 2 months,” stated Courchaine. 

It took firefighters hours and multiple departments to contain the fire.  

“The building has six apartments in it four apartments had residents in them at the time of our arrival. All were safely evacuated, including animals. Fire is under investigation with the Brown County Fire Investigation Team, which is a task force of fire and law enforcement,” said Lieutenant Chris Hohol of Howard Fire Department.

Hohol says assisting those affected is now their main concern.

“Always good news when no one is harmed, unfortunately, lost for people who have contents in the building we are working on that right now and working at placement for the evacuees,” explained Hohol.

As for the future, Courchaine plans to make his new living arrangement comfortable for his new bundle of joy.  

“I think the landlord’s going to give us a new apartment right down the road here, going to try to figure that out get us a new spot with all new furniture, going to need new bedding, new crib, new clothes for the babies, everything’s gone,” explained Courchaine. 

The property owner of the building is finding housing for those affected. We will keep you updated with this story on air and online.