Green Bay firefighters credit closed bedroom door for saving lives

Two small children and two adults were rescued during an early morning blaze
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 7:11 AM CST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2021 at 8:56 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Green Bay Metro fire crews say they used ladders to rescue four people from a burning third floor apartment early Wednesday morning.

The fire department is crediting a shut bedroom door for saving the lives of all those inside the apartment.

“At some point that door is going to fail but it’s going to give you a lot of extra time to get out and into safety,” Lt Shauna Walesh of the Green Bay Metro Fire Department said. “Fire needs oxygen, and when you close the door, you’re keeping the oxygen away from that.”

Firefighters told Action 2 News the call came in just before 5:00 a.m. to Westbrook Chateau Apartments on S. Fisk Street, near Western Avenue. The first crews on scene could see heavy smoke and people hanging out of a third floor window. Action 2 News This Morning brought you live coverage as firefighters worked at the scene.

Firefighters raised ladders to the window and rescued two adults and two small children. All four were taken to a hospital but have since left and are staying with family living nearby, according to the building’s property management.

Once the people were safe, firefighters were able to quickly put out the flames.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Although there is heavy damage to the apartment, firefighters said the people survived mainly due to bedroom doors being closed.

“Keeping your door shut at night, and if something does happen of that nature going to your window and alerting us that you’re in there with a complex this big. It’s very hard to know which window or where you’re at in a moment’s notice. By them being at those windows, we know exactly where we have to be with our ladders and our guys are able to get to them and get them rescued right down the ladders,” Battalion Chief Dave Kolz said.

According to federal data, sixteen Wisconsinites have died since January first in house fires. While there’s been a nearly 3 percent decline in fires across the United States this past decade, the number of deaths cause by those fires rose by nearly 21 percent.

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