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RACINE – On Wednesday afternoon at 12:07 p.m. the Racine Fire Department responded to a house fire call that left two families displaced at 1116 Nelson Court.

Tenants in the upper unit of the duplex, located on the north side of the city, discovered the fire “originating from near an electrical outlet in a bedroom,” according to a social media post by the Racine Fire Department (RFD). The fire was called into 911 by a parent who then evacuated both units of the building.

Firefighters arrived at the evacuated home where fire was coming from the window of a second-story bedroom. After attacking the fire from the exterior, crews were able to make their way into the building where they encountered “heavy fire on the second floor.”

Three fire engines, two ladder trucks, a rescue squad, battalion chief, safety officer, and two fire investigators responded to the scene.

RFD Rescue Squads transported all eight tenants to a Community Oriented Policing (COP) House at 1140 Geneva St. due to the sub-zero wind chill conditions. No injuries have been reported.

Securing the Location

To make the house and surrounding area safe, several agencies responded to secure different elements of the fire and subsequent extinguishing efforts.

WE Energies secured the utilities while Racine Water Utility secured the water service.

Salt and sand trucks from the Racine Department of Public Works covered the areas that had been made a hazard from water exposure, which had created slippery conditions.

Finally, the Racine Police Department lent their services for traffic control, as well as caring for the displaced families at the COP House.

Families Displaced

The fire left two families displaced. The two-story family residence housed “a mother and two teenage daughters living upstairs and a family of five, including three children under the age of three, living in the lower apartment.” The Red Cross has stepped in to assist these families.

The RFD reminds the public of a recurring lesson that was learned again from this fire. “Renter’s Insurance may seem like a $13 expense to cut from a family’s monthly budget until the unthinkable happens and all of your belongings go up in smoke.”

Damages have been estimated to exceed the assessed value of $68,000.

The cause of this fire is still under investigation.

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