Fire heavily damages several downtown Ripon businesses

RIPON (WITI) -- Firefighters from roughly 30 fire departments spent Wednesday morning, December 11th battling a fire involving several downtown Ripon businesses. Officials say there is now heavy fire and water damage to at least three buildings -- and 26 people are displaced.

The fire broke out in buildings near Watson and Fond du Lac Streets in downtown Ripon around 2:30 a.m. It apparently started in a building's basement.

Most of the downtown area was blocked off following the fire.

No one was injured.

The Red Cross was on the scene assisting those in need, including 13 adults and 13 children from seven families.

The Red Cross is helping these families with housing, financial support for clothing, food and personal hygiene items and a shoulder to lean on.

Warming shelters were set up for crews working on the scene -- and businesses nearby are also opening their doors for emergency responders to warm up.

Red Cross officials provided food, hot coffee and a moment of respite for first responders as well.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.