Man vows to help children rescued from Saturday night fire

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Four children are still in the hospital after a very bad house fire led to a heroic rescue by responders.

The fire started a little before 5 p.m. on Saturday evening, December 20th, in a building near 22nd and Mitchell.

The latest from Milwaukee police is all four children are still hospitalized, they are not in the ICU, but are being monitored constantly.

When fire crews arrived to the scene Saturday night, two children were still inside.

"The engine company single-handedly rescued two children from inside that fire, unconscious and unable to help themselves," said Milwaukee Fire Chief, Aaron Lipski.

Residents and neighbors could only stand by and watch.

"It was mostly in the back of the house, but there was smoke going through our house and they were busting the windows out," said Kenyette Anderson, lives in building.

On Sunday, they continued to pray for the children's recovery.

"It's sad. Like I said especially around the holidays. When I looked and the house was in flames, I seen them walking out with the baby," said Araceli Guzman, neighbor.

Responders entered the building and found the children unconscious.

A 22-year-old man was also inside when the fire started -- he got out through a second story window. But after being hospitalized, FOX6 News has learned police now have that man in custody.

Today, we spoke with the site coordinator of a nearby food pantry outreach center, he's hoping to connect with the family and help them any way he can.

"You and I lose something and we are probably insured and we complain about the deductible. These are folks, you lose something and it's just gone. As soon as I can make contact with them, I can hook them up with resources through our pantry and our street ministry," said Max Ramsey, works at Frieden's Community Pantry.

It's a tragedy facing a family now more vulnerable than ever, and why Ramsey says he has work to do.

"Right now, it's just not time to blame. It's time to hug some people and get some resources into some people's hands," said Ramsey.

No word yet on the cause of the fire.

Milwaukee Fire Department said last night there were no working smoke alarms.

The closest fire station is only 6 blocks away, and the response time was very quick which may have made a difference in outcome.

Related link:

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