"I haven't found a week this busy yet:" 126 victims assisted by the Red Cross in 5 days

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Fire officials were called to an apartment complex fire near 13th and Locust early Friday morning, December 5th.

Crews were dispatched to the scene around 5:30 a.m. Smoke was filling the second floor people trapped inside were forced to make a life and death decision -- stay and wait for help, or jump.

"When we got out there we saw the people jumping out. Then the fire people came with the ladder but they were dropping kids out already," said Tina Smith, fire victim.

Smith was able to run out of the first floor with her mother, children and grandchildren. Other children were trapped on the smoke filled second floor.

"I saw a teenage boy jump out the window when he jumped out he was like, hey throw the kids. They threw the kid, he caught him," said Smith.

The children, now at the Red Cross were among those who were saved from the burning building. They are in a temporary office building as the Red Cross looks for an emergency mass shelter.

50 people are homeless after 3 fires in Milwaukee overnight. Not only 13th and Locust, but a fire in the 2700 block of north 39th Street. Then an hour later another fire in the 2600 block of north 54th kept not only firefighters -- but the Red Cross busy. Many needed shelter, food and clothing.

"I haven't found a week this busy yet with this many incidents," said Barbara Behling, with the American Red Cross.

That's all in addition to 3 fires Monday, and 3 more Tuesday. 126 people needed emergency shelter.

"We are just losing a shelter on the south side of town. Now we have to open one more on the north side -- so it is busy. It scares us. This is just the start of our busiest time of the year," said Behling.

Smith and her family need shelter, but her first priority during the fire was to give thanks. She led a prayer circle with the victims. They were thankful everyone got out okay.

Officials say firefighters rescued about ten people from the second floor. The Red Cross is currently assisting 15 adults and 8 children displaced by the fire.

The fire caused an estimated $30,000 in damage to the building and $10,000 in damage to contents.

The cause of the fire is unknown and remains under investigation.

The Milwaukee Fire Department has responded to fire after fire this week.

"No matter what time of day, any situation, Milwaukee Fire Department is always prepared to respond," said Milwaukee Fire Department Deputy Chief, Brian Smith.

The emergencies have left 3 firefighters injured.

"Due to some of the unfortunate chain of events, a couple of our firefighters ended up calling a mayday and jumping from a second story building," Smith said.

The Red Cross says you can help, with donations, volunteering and educating yourself on fire prevention.