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**Updated 9:30 p.m.

Four families were displaced Thursday after a bush near a Shelbourne Court Apartment started on fire at 4:25 p.m. Thursday, July 30 at 500 Shelbourne Court.

An official with the Racine Fire Department said he couldn’t confirm that the bush was on fire, but he said that’s how the call came into dispatch and he fire was under investigation. He was managing the fire fighting operations from the other side of the building. However, a witness said she saw that the bush was on fire and flames that reached the top of the building.

“I know a number of people have been asking… who started the fire,” she said.

Firefighters concentrated their efforts on hosing down a section of the building near a burned bush. The flames charred much of the area around the second story window on the east side of the building and caused $50,000 in damage, Racine Fire Captain Mark Villapando said in a press release.

There were no injuries amongst residents, and pets were rescued successfully, but one firefighter was injured and another suffered from heat exhaustion.

Racine Fire Bells assisted fire and rescue at the scene, and residents helped, too, by bringing water to firefighters.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.