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Multiple women & children displaced by east side apartment fire

NOW: Multiple women & children displaced by east side apartment fire

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- More than a dozen women have been forced from their homes after a fire on Milwaukee’s east side.

It happened Friday night at St. Catherine’s Residence, an apartment building for low-income women with disabilities and/or domestic violence concerns.

Milwaukee Fire tells CBS 58 that three people were taken to the hospital.

"It was a sight to see, the people were screaming from their windows," said Angela Williams, a resident.

The building which houses more than 160 women, including some children had to evacuate. According to fire personnel, the fire started on the 3rd floor. The cause is being investigated.

Residents told CBS 58 News apartments on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th levels suffered water and smoke damage. The occupants ran out leaving everything behind.

"Everything, all the clothes that I own, this is all that I have," Williams added.

The Red Cross disaster relief team has been helping to bring some comfort.

"It’s a very stressful situation especially some of the fear some of them had getting out of the residence," said Nicole Gulatz, Red Cross Chief Development Officer. "It's hard, but we're trying to make them as comfortable as we can."

The organization, along with Alverno College set-up a temporary shelter on campus for the displaced women through the weekend.

"We had space, and I was thinking when we were first called, let me round up some sisters and students to make beds, but the Red Cross was so well prepared. It was really effortless for us," said Sister Andrea Lee, President of Alverno College. 

They are working on finding a permanent housing solution for those affected. 

On Sunday, October 14, U-Haul Company of Southeastern Wisconsin announced that it is  offering 30 days of free self-storage and U-Box container usage to victims and families affected by the fire at St. Catherine Residence apartment complex. 

“We want to extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families,” U-Haul Company of Southeastern Wisconsin president Alex Sonnleitner said. “Everyone made it out safely but homes have been affected. We want to support our community by offering a place for items to be stored.”

Families needing more information about the 30 days self-storage assistance can contact the following U-Haul stores:  U-Haul Moving & Storage of Riverwest at 505 E. Capitol Drive; U-Haul Moving & Storage State Street at 2020 W. State St or U-Haul Moving & Storage of Walker's Point at 1500 S. 1st St.


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