70+ people without a home after Madison apartment catches fire
Authorities say more than 70 people are without a home after an apartment building caught fire on Madison's southwest side Saturday afternoon.
The Madison Fire Department says several engines arrived just after 1 p.m. to the three-story apartment in the 3100 block of Muir Field Road. The fire took at least an hour to put out with high winds making it difficult for crews.
Madison Fire Chief Steven Davis said no one was injured in the fire, but two cats remain missing. A dog, a cat, two turtles and 4 bearded dragons were safely returned to their owners.
MFD added that a 911 caller reported an explosion at the apartment, but that has not been confirmed at this time by authorities. Investigators believe the fire was accidental and are still working to find the cause.
Additionally fire crews estimates damages to the building to be around $750,000 and deemed the building uninhabitable.
According to the American Red Cross, 32 people from fourteen units stayed at a local hotel. Dinner and breakfast have been provided to each room.
Due to the pandemic, displaced residents went through health screening and given masks at the hotel. Volunteers were also screened ahead of any time spent at the hotel.
The Madison Health and Fire Departments have connected with a local Goodwill to provide alternative clothing for displaced residents.
The Red Cross says approximately 330 people in Wisconsin have been displaced since early March.
NBC15 was on scene as crews put out the fire. For more on how the COVID-19 pandemic effected their efforts, click