Overheated extension cord sparks apartment fire in Village of Sturtevant

STURTEVANT (WITI) -- Crews were called to the scene of an apartment complex fire Tuesday night, November 18th in the Village of Sturtevant.

It happened near 93rd Street and Broadway Drive around 9:48 p.m.

When crews arrived on scene, they found smoke coming from the second floor of an occupied, eight-unit apartment building. At that time, South Shore Fire Department crews immediately began an interior fire attack, while simultaneously initiating a primary search of the building.

Firefighters confined the fire to one apartment in the eight-unit building.  The majority of the fire was knocked down about 20 minutes after the arrival of the fire department, and the fire was declared under control about ten minutes later.

While the majority of the building’s apartments were occupied, tenants were able to escape the fire before the arrival of the fire department.  Searching fire crews did find and remove several cats, which were then re-united with their owners.  There were no reported injuries to either occupants or firefighters, in spite of temperatures in the teens.

One apartment on the second floor was destroyed by the fire.  The common hallway on the second floor experienced some smoke and heat damage.  The remaining seven apartments in the building experienced little or no damage.

The cause of the fire has been determined to be accidental in nature.  The fire apparently started when an extension cord melted and shorted out after coming in contact with a wall-mounted heater.

The total damage is estimated at approximately $100,000.

Occupants of the building displaced by the fire were being assisted with shelter needs by the American Red Cross.

South Shore firefighters were assisted at the scene by members of the Sturtevant Police Department, Mt. Pleasant Police Department, Racine Fire Bells, and WE Energies.