First fatal fire of 2012 takes life of 1-year-old


by Laura Rodriguez

Hours after a fatal fire on the corner of Wright St. and N Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Mayor Tom Barrett and fire officials went knocking from door to door to prevent something like this from happening again.

"It touches our hearts when we have a fire death, especially when we know that it's a young child," said Fire Chief Mark Rohlfing.

The family was awakened by a 3-year-old child who told them the room was getting hot. By that time the apartment was covered in flames, and a one-year-old remained in her crib.

"Fire was coming out of the windows as we got here, the father was stating he had a child in a bedroom, but we had to knock the fire down before we could make entry," said Batallion Chief Christopher Snyder.

Initial reports indicate that smoke detectors were found in the apartment.

"We don't believe we had smoke detectors sounding at the time because nobody heard them, we have found indications that there were smoke detectors in the apartment but there is so much damage in that apartment that [the smoke alarm] could have been destroyed by the fire," said Deputy Chief Randall Zingler.

Although the Fire Chief says the detectors were placed in a good location, the hallway, he feels a better strategy would be to place smoke detectors in each bedroom.

"Most of the time those smoke detectors will give us the opportunity to get up and get out of the house," said Chief Rohlfing.

"Do what you can to make sure that you have a working smoke alarm. The law requires landlords to install a fire alarm, but the tenant is responsible for checking," said City of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.


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