House fire on Milwaukee's south side sends 5 to hospital, including 4 children

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Five people are hurt including 4 children after crews responded to a fire which started in a home on 22nd and W Mitchell St. in Milwaukee.

The fire happened at approximately 4:50 p.m. on Saturday, December 20th.

Fire crews responded quickly to the blaze as a crew was located just six blocks away.

Five people inside the house were hurt -- 4 children were taken to Children's Hospital -- 2 are in serious condition. The one adult in the fire was taken to Froedtert Hospital with cuts.

The building is split up into several apartments, the fire started in one of them.

When firefighters arrived two children were still inside but the fire was so bad commanders questioned whether to go in.

"Based on the chances of possibly killing or injuring a firefighter in this search effort," said Deputy Milwaukee Fire Chief, Aaron Lipski.

But they went in and found the children in a first floor bedroom.

"That engine company single-handedly rescued two children, young children, inside that fire unconscious and unable to help themselves," said Lipski.

Residents of the other units could only stand and watch as the hours passed and the investigation continued, many not knowing what they have left.

"People need to check your smoke detectors, get batteries, change them," said Lipski.

A firefighter did suffer minor injuries but is expected to be okay.

The Red Cross has been on the scene assisting the residents.

There were NO working smoke alarms in the apartment.

Sunday, December 21st, all four kids are still hospitalized and are in stable condition. They are not in ICU, but they are being monitored around the clock.

Police are still interviewing the adult who was home at the time of the fire. That man is believed to be the father of two of the children that were in the fire. He is currently in custody.

No word yet on the cause of the fire.