Former employee arrested in connection with daycare fire

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Milwaukee police have arrested the person they believe to be responsible for a fire at a daycare near 55th and Center early Wednesday morning, January 22nd.

Milwaukee police say the person arrested is a 23-year-old woman who is a former employee of the daycare.

According to officials, fire crews responded to "Early Start Academy" around 1:30 a.m.

Upon arrival, crews discovered that the daycare and a nearby van both caught on fire. Officials believed the two appeared to have started separately.

The daycare was closed at the time of the fire. No injuries were sustained as a result of the fire.

Carol Scott works at a daycare across the street from "Early Start Academy" and said when she arrived at work, her first reaction to the charred building was one of shock and fear.

"My mouth flew open," remembered Scott, "my first thought was oh my God it could have been us!"

Nearby neighbors were also very concerned.

"It’s dangerous. Very dangerous. I was just praying when I first saw it that nobody got hurt," said Anthony Hibler.

It took about an hour an a half for firefighters to put the fire out. That's also about how long it took crews to board it up.

"It's a bad job. It's a full burnout job, so every window had to be covered," said Jay Geiger, with Cream City Wrecking and Dismantling, which is contracted through the City of Milwaukee.

Initial reports show there was approximately $110,000 in damage.