Three People Rescued After Apartment Fire Near UW-Whitewater

WHITEWATER - Three people are safe after being rescued from their burning apartment in Whitewater. The flames broke out around 7 p.m. this evening at the University Gardens Apartment Complex near the UW-Whitewater campus.

A number of fire departments rushed here to help put the fire out. They are still currently on scene making sure all of the hot spots are out and that there are no flames hiding in the walls.

Several people who live in the apartments said they heard an explosion. One man said he heard the smoke alarms start blaring so he ran outside and saw flames shooting out of the building. He said he and one of his neighbors both ran inside and got the fire extinguishers and tried to get the fire out. The white hot flames were too much for them, but there were people trapped inside.

"We pulled one person out from the back window. We realized two more people were still trapped up on top up front. When we came back to the front, one of the officers asked me to grab the ladder, so I ran to grab the ladder and when I came back he pulled up his SUV and they jumped out of the second-story window...on to the roof of the SUV," said neighbor Lyle Downs.

A number of people are not able to get back into their homes tonight, either because of fire damage or for safety reasons. The Red Cross is assisting 19 people  while others are staying with either  family or friends.  

There is still no word on what sparked the fire although some tenants heard an explosion.

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