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11 without a home after Appleton duplex fire causes $300,000 damage

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 12:48 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2022 at 7:15 PM CST
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APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) - Five adults and six children are without a home after a duplex fire in Appleton late Tuesday morning.

The Appleton Fire Department responded to a report of a house fire on the 1600-block of E. Capitol Dr. at 11:30. Video and photos from the scene show damage to a garage separating the two sides of the duplex. The fire department says the heaviest flames were coming from the garage when the first crews arrived and the flames spread into the attic space.

Firefighters had the fire under control after half an hour.

“The damage was pretty extensive. The one side is definitely a total loss which is probably going to make the total building a loss,” said Derek Henson, Battalion Chief, Appleton Fire Department.

The Red Cross says two couples lived in the duplex, one with three children, and another with four.

Red Cross of Wisconsin Communications Director Justin Kern added, “Especially given the number of children involved here we always make an extra emphasis to talk with families and give them tools to be able to help the children involved process what they’re going thru.”

One dog died in the fire. Three other pets survived.

What started this fire is still under investigation.

Although everyone evacuated the house safely, a statement from the fire department advises everyone to know two ways out of every room. “It is important to know two ways out in case one is blocked or dangerous.”

Investigators estimate $300,000 in damage to the property and that doesn’t count personal possessions.

“For the low cost of renter’s insurance it definitely is worth it in a scenario like this where it may not even be your fault and maybe something that’s beyond your control but you have that extra layer of protection so that you’re not scrambling to find a place to stay,” said Henson.

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