Residents still out of a place to stay as apartment fire details become more clear

NOW: Residents still out of a place to stay as apartment fire details become more clear

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BROWN DEER, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Forty units are uninhabitable, and at least 110 people are out of their homes after an apartment fire in Brown Deer Saturday afternoon, on Aug. 20.


North Shore Fire Rescue officials said the fire was likely caused by lightning, although they can't say for sure, they were on scene at River Place Apartments as late as Sunday morning still fighting hot spots.

Residents like Sue say they still can't go back inside.

"Somebody came pounding on the door and the patio door," said Sue, recalling the chaos yesterday.

She says she's still waiting on an all-clear on her undamaged unit.

"I opened the door and this girl said get out get out, and I said why? And she says there's a fire! Well there it is, I wasn't dressed so I quick put on some clothes," said Sue.

North Shore Fire Rescue officials said some residents reported fire alarms not working correctly, which they say if a lightning strike is what caused the fire, it may have damaged the system.

Now, with the fire out, people like Sue are dealing with the aftermath.

"I don't know if I'll go to a hotel tomorrow, or I don't know what I'm going to do," said Sue, mentioning she doesn't want to burden the friend she's staying with much longer.

Officials with the American Red Cross were helping people at a shelter set up at Brown Deer Elementary.

"Couple folks came last night, really one person stayed overnight, a lot of folks maybe were able to stay with friends or family," said Justin Kern with the American Red Cross Wisconsin. "This shelter is open if folks need it, especially through tonight and we'll see and keep having conversations about the status of the shelter in the days to come."

North Shore Fire officials say with many children displaced by this fire, they're working on finding a way to get those kids ready for school in the coming days, and expect to have more information on how people can help tomorrow, on Aug. 22.

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