GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

‘You could feel something wasn’t right’: Ashwaubenon resident rebuilding after apartment fire

Local News

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WFRV) – The fire happened in an instant on New Year’s Eve. Ask Matt Maznaritz about it. Not only was he there, but lived in the complex for 20 years.

“You could feel something he wasn’t right,” he told Local 5’s Barrett Tryon on Friday. “I heard beeping out in the hallway.”

He says this last week has been an “absolute rollercoaster.”

“We’re talking all kind of emotions, things I have never felt before. You know your mind is racing, your heart is pounding,” Maznaritz said. “I was in the military. I had a lot of training to be able to handle stressful situations and to really have something like this. This is your home, you know?”

The fire began in a corner apartment on the second floor on Dec. 31.

“It was fully consumed. We couldn’t see the flames from around front, but you knew it was serious,” he explained.

It was also only a few doors down from where he called home.

“When I initially opened my door to get out, it was really bizarre. It was just rolling through the hallway. Really thick, heavy smoke. And I thought, ‘Ohhh, the building is on fire,'” Maznaritz added.

In total, there are 24 apartments in the building. As of Jan. 4., the Village of Ashwaubenon declared them unsafe to live in. This weekend, tenants are expected to come in, one-by-one, to salvage what they can.

“It feels a lot longer than a week. That whole thing of emotions, of everything. You’re not really sure what to think,” he said. “I don’t want to say live in a state of alertness or readiness, but be aware that things can happen. And things can happen quickly.”

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Nobody was hurt.

The American Red Cross helped out the people who lived there. If you would like to help, the organization asks for financial donations. You can learn more on its website.

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