A three-story apartment complex in Beloit is evacuated just after midnight. Even with residents’ quick thinking, seven tenants had to be taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. One of those seven is in a Milwaukee hospital in stable condition as of Sunday night.
An apartment on the first floor was fully engulfed when crews arrived at the High School Apartments. This is a building where those mostly 55 and over reside. About 10 occupants had to evacuate through windows and the rest were able to take the stairs. About 40 people live in the complex, and thanks to the American Red Cross, residents have another place to stay.
23 News spoke to the owner of the apartment, William Hart, about the damage and cleanup process.
Hart tells us, “We’re trying to mitigate the damage. We are removing the smoke and throwing out debris. We are trying to get residents back in here as quickly as possible.”
Hart says hopefully by Monday the majority of the residents can return. He says the fire may have started due to improper use of a smoking material. The Beloit Fire Department is investigating the cause. Several pets had to be removed and taken to the Humane Society.
The damage is estimated to be about $450,000.