100+ people likely displaced after fire at Brown Deer apartment complex

NOW: 100+ people likely displaced after fire at Brown Deer apartment complex

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BROWN DEER, Wis. (CBS 58) -- More than 100 people are displaced after a fire caused significant damage to an apartment complex in Brown Deer on Saturday afternoon.

Battalion Chief Dan Tyk with North Shore Fire Rescue told CBS 58 the fire broke out just after 4 p.m. Saturday at the River Place Apartments in Brown Deer.

Crews arrived to a wall of heavy smoke and flames coming out of the roof of a section of one building.

At one point, a part of the roof collapsed. Despite dangerous conditions, the fire was contained quickly.

"They initiated a really aggressive interior attack, but the volume of the fire and the heat they encountered, we actually pulled crews out and went to a defensive operation with the ladder towers. We were quickly able to bring it under control and stop it," Chief Tyk said.

The entire building was evacuated. Though flames only affected a small part of the complex, several units are damaged from the smoke and firefighting efforts.

"Fire damage should really be contained to just a few units on adjacent sides of that collapsed area but just the volume of water we put in there and the way the smoke travels. Our concern is the smoke damage and displacement that can come along with that," Tyk said.

According to the American Red Cross, 110 people are anticipated to be displaced from 40 units.

A shelter opened for displaced individuals at Brown Deer Elementary School Saturday night.

A cause of the fire hasn't been confirmed. North Shore Rescue is investigating.

"Some residents out here are saying that they believe there may have been a lightning strike to the building as part of some of the storms that came through, which is certainly something we'll take a look at," Tyk said.

Fortunately, no one was injured, thanks to quick evacuations and firefighting efforts.

"Obviously super devastating for the people that live here, but really an aggressive firefighting stop to keep it from getting further through the building," Tyk said.

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