KENOSHA, Wis. - Multiple buildings were set on fire in Kenosha Monday, Aug. 24 during the second night of unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake Sunday night, Aug. 23. Officials with the Kenosha Fire Department said 37 fires, combined with "emergency medical services for numerous accidents, assaults and injuries with traumas of varying degrees, including a shooting" were "resource-intensive."
A number of neighboring departments responded to requests for mutual aid in fighting the fires.
Kenosha fire officials said a police officer was hit with a mortar round and some firefighters were treated for dehydration and over-exertion. There were multiple calls for traumatic injuries and multiple civilians with non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
As for the fires, officials said "several" of the city's Public Works Department's vehicle were destroyed.
A major fire on 60th Street from 11th Avenue to 14th Avenue "nearly leveled several city blocks," fire officials said.
According to the fire department, losses included the probation office, the Department of Corrections, several local businesses and several homes.
The Kenosha Uptown area also sustained substantial losses. Fire officials said this area was anchored by the Danish Brotherhood Building, which dated back to the early 1900s, and many small businesses and mercantile shops that served this area of the city.
As the curfew was set to begin Monday night, the situation outside the courthouse between police and demonstrators started changing. Police began deploying tear gas and smoke as protesters lit fireworks in the park across the street.
At some point, a fire was set to one of the garbage trucks used to block the street in front of the courthouse from vehicle traffic.
Around midnight, not far from the courthouse, fires were set to multiple buildings near 11th and 60th in Kenosha.
Neighbors tell FOX6 News at least one mattress store was burned down -- and a Kenosha parole office was set on fire. Heavy smoke and high flames could be seen for several blocks.
Sometime before 1 a.m., fire crews responded to a building on fire at Roosevelt Road and 22nd Avenue. Flames could be seen shooting out of the top of the two-story building.
Firefighters worked to contain the blaze to the building that housed two businesses, as well as upper units on the second floor.
About 40 minutes later, it appeared the blazed was knocked down, keeping it from spreading to other buildings on the block. The two storefronts where the fire was located were completely destroyed.
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R) issued the following statement Tuesday:
“Yesterday, I acknowledged the understandable concern and emotional reaction to the shooting of Jacob Blake. I also asked anyone choosing to demonstrate to remain peaceful, and give our justice system time to work. Unfortunately, Kenosha and Madison experienced another night of violence and destruction. I again ask for demonstrators to remain peaceful and also call on elected officials charged with the responsibility to maintain safety and security in Wisconsin to devote the manpower to do so. In particular, I ask Governor Evers to provide a sufficient presence of the Wisconsin National Guard to maintain order.
“Peaceful protesting is a constitutionally protected form of free speech. Rioting is not. It must not be allowed to continue.”