'Unfortunate situation:' Red Cross sets up shelter for 24 displaced by fire at apartment complex

MILWAUKEE -- Two-dozen people were displaced by a fire in an apartment complex near 43rd and Arthur in Milwaukee early Saturday, April 14. Several people were taken to the hospital from the scene.

Crews were called to the area around 11:45 a.m.

"Upon arrival, we had fire showing from the windows and reports of multiple people trapped," said Acting Deputy Chief Mike Blackwood, Milwaukee Fire Department.

Firefighters were able to contain the fire to one unit on the third floor, but the entire building suffered smoke damage. The Red Cross is helping those impacted.

"We were able to get inside pretty quick, knock the fire down, get the people out," said Blackwood.

Several people were taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation. The building was evacuated as freezing rain fell.


Twenty-four people were displaced. They sat on an MCTS bus to stay warm as the Red Cross worked to assist them.

"Talking with people, getting through the shock of it and seeing immediate needs, bringing blankets and that type of thing," said Justin Kern, Red Cross.

Kern said many of those who live in the building have medical needs and require extra care.

"We definitely have a number of folks we're working with that have walkers, that have their immediate health considerations," said Kern.


The fire remains under investigation.

A damage estimate hasn't been released.

"It's terrible weather. It's a really unfortunate situation. We're working the best we can to make sure everyone's taken care of," said Kern.

The Red Cross set up a shelter at Ascension Lutheran Church that was set to stay open at least for Saturday night.