Suspicious apartment fire forces Grandmother and family out a window


by Matt Doyle

Milwaukee -- A grandmother is forced to climb out her apartment window after a fire starts next door.  It's a fire that may have been intentionally set.    

"Well if they wrote whatever they wrote on the wall, you would think that," Nancy Rivera said. 

Rivera is referring to the profanity written on the walls of a charred apartment. 

"We have four fires in less than two years. Four!," Rivera said.   "It's ridiculous already. I'm scared."

She lives on Arthur Square on Milwaukee's South Side. 

Neighbors believe two of the fires were set intentionally, including Saturday night's. 

The tenants were evicted a few days ago and finished moving out Saturday.

Rivera was worried because the apartment door was left open after the tenants left.

"You got these people evicted. The door is open, they put something there where the door was open."

The fire started Saturday night and forced Rivera along with her daughter and grandson out the window.

"When I got up to open the door, there was a ball of smoke," Jessica Martinez said.  "[We] Couldn't go out. So what we did is we had to jump out the window."

Right into a bush leaving them with sprained ankles, scratches, and bruises.

"The most scary part is my mom [Rivera] is old and my son who is four-years old. It was very difficult.  He was frieghtened. He was shivering, he didn't know what was going on."

The three got out safely.

Yet they're left with a smoky apartment and a message for anyone who might have started it.

"You should have some consideration for everybody that lives in this building. Everybody has kids. The lady right across the hall from the fire has two kids. Luckily they wasn't here last night. But my son was."


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