RACINE — Two multi-family apartment buildings were damaged by separate deck fires within hours of each other on Wednesday, according to the Racine Fire Department (RFD). No one was hurt.
Fire on the Erie Street Bridge
At approximately 4:00 p.m., firefighters responded to the first fire on the wooden entrance deck of an upper unit of an apartment building in the 1300 block of Erie Street. The fire was quickly extinguished and did not spread to homes. The fire caused damage estimated at $2,000 to the bridge. The cause remains under investigation.
Howland Avenue Bridge fires
The second fire, at a three-family apartment building in the 200 block of Howland Avenue, was reported around 7 p.m. The first teams to arrive found the exterior landings of the first and second floors of the building on fire. Although firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control before it spread inside the structure, the building was deemed uninhabitable due to fire, smoke and water damage. The Red Cross helped 10 displaced residents find temporary accommodation.
The Howland Avenue fire also melted the exterior cladding of an adjacent building. The fire caused an estimated $60,000 in damage to the building and $30,000 in additional damage to the adjacent structure. The cause is still under investigation.
The RPD reminds residents that outdoor household trash or yard waste placed on or near decks can create fire hazards and block emergency escape routes. Always dispose of waste away from structures. Additionally, outdoor barbecues are not permitted on or under decks or within 10 feet of structures.
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