Fire breaks out on same block where fire killed three children last year

WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- West Allis Fire officials on Sunday afternoon, April 6th responded to a fire at a home on Hicks Street -- the same street on which crews battled a blaze in which three children lost their lives nearly one year ago.

West Allis Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Schauz tells FOX6 News when he arrived on scene, heavy smoke was coming from the home.

Additionally, Schauz says neighbors told fire crews there was a possibility six children were inside the home.

Fire crews learned from neighbors that two adults left the home shortly before the fire began.

Shauz says fire officials did not locate anyone inside the home. Shauz says a pitbull was safely removed from the home.

Shauz says it is believed the fire started in the kitchen -- but it is not clear at this time what may have sparked the blaze.

The investigation into the fire is ongoing.

The Red Cross was called to the scene and was standing by, awaiting the return of the renters. Shauz says the tenants would not be able to stay at the home due to the fire damage -- and would be assisted by the Red Cross.

One year ago, three children were killed in a fire at a home at 78th and Hicks on April 11th.

The children's mother, Angelica Belen has been sentenced to 18 years in prison in the case.

"About a year ago today, we had the loss of three children at a house literally across the street -- about three houses down, so very ironic that we had this fire and an initial report of six children was not a good feeling. We are just very relieved that we had no more fatalities," Shauz told FOX6 News.