Two members from The American Red Cross Disaster Relief team arrive to a Village of Rochester apartment complex at 300 E. Spring St. to offer assistance to residents in need (Jason Arndt/Standard Press)

Damage limited; cause still unknown, authorities say

By Jason Arndt

Residents of a multi-unit apartment complex in the Village of Rochester were temporarily displaced Saturday after a fire damaged parts of building’s lower level.

The cause, according to the Racine County Sheriff’s Office, has not been determined as of Tuesday.

Chief Jack Biermann of the Rochester Volunteer Fire Company said the fire started in one unit of the complex at 300 E. Spring St. and required assistance from dozens of other agencies.

The first call came at 11:24 a.m., when a fire alarm activated, and Biermann indicated more residents reported the fire following the initial alarm.

“When I arrived approximately five minutes after that, there was heavy smoke coming out of the building and doors,” he said. “They found a fire in one of the units.”

The Racine County Sheriff’s Office reports responding deputies assisted the Rochester Volunteer Fire Company with evacuating residents from the building.

“As responding deputies arrived on-scene they assisted numerous residents out of the complex,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

“Heavy smoke was observed throughout the complex and citizens were safely evacuated by responding deputies.”
Biermann, who estimates the fire caused about $75,000 in damage, said one of the 29 units experienced fire damage and smoke affected four others.

Additionally, while firefighters battled the fire, a resident was transported by ambulance to an area hospital as a medical precaution.

“The only transport was a medical issue not directly related to the fire,” Biermann said. “He wasn’t in the unit that was involved.”

The Sheriff’s Office confirmed the resident was a 58-year-old man, according to a news release.