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Woman, father lose home to fire in Manitowoc

Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 5:10 AM CST
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MANITOWOC, Wis. (WBAY) - Crews battled “very heavy” fire conditions at a building in downtown Manitowoc early Friday.

The scene is located in the 700 block of Franklin St. Flames were shooting out of the roof of the building. Video from the scene shows crews blasting the building with water from a ladder truck and from the street below.

Manitowoc Fire Department Chief Todd Blaser says no one was hurt.

“Everyone exited the building, self-evacuated safely,” Blaser says.

Crews fight a fire in the 700 block of Franklin St. in Manitowoc. Dec. 4, 2020.
Crews fight a fire in the 700 block of Franklin St. in Manitowoc. Dec. 4, 2020.(Terry and Heidi Dabb)

At about 1:28 a.m., Manitowoc Police and the Manitowoc Fire Departments were called to the building for a report of a dog bite. They cleared that scene and left.

At about 3:30 a.m., an occupant of the building flagged down a police officer in the area and told the officer they needed the fire department. The officer went to the building, saw smoke, and called the fire department.

Manitowoc firefighters arrived on scene within minutes. Police alerted occupants of the building and they evacuated without injury.

“Crews went, started an aggressive interior attack. Fire conditions were very heavy. The fire had already gone through the attic area, which made our fire attack difficult,” said Blaser.

Firefighters switched to a defensive attack--meaning they fought the fire from outside the building. The crews used a ladder truck and “elevated master streams.”

Chief Blaser says the origin of the fire remains unknown. The chief does not believe at this time that the dog bite call and fire are related events.

Resident Alicia Trejo and her father lost their home.

“I’ve lived here for over 35 years. This is our home, and it’s a complete loss,” said Alicia Trejo. “My father, we grew up here. He was downstairs when the fire started, and thank God police got him out of the house safe before anything happened to him.”

The chief says there’s no damage to nearby structures.

The department called a box alarm for mutual aid. Numerous agencies helped at the scene.

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