Fire damages three homes near 10th & College in Racine; no one was injured

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RACINE -- Fire crews responded to the scene of a house fire in Racine early Monday morning, October 19th. Crews were called to the home just after midnight.

House fire near 10th & College in Racine

House fire near 10th & College in Racine

The fire broke out at a single-family home near 10th and College.  The Racine Fire Department says it appears the fire started on the exterior of the home and spread into the attic. The fire then spread to two nearby homes.

Racine officials say the fire caused extensive damage to the home -- as well as a home next door. Additionally, a home around the corner sustained heat damage.

All residents from each home were displaced.  Officials say no injuries were sustained as a result of the fire.

The Racine Police Department says it's too early to determine the cause or origin of the fire but Racine Fire Department investigators are currently working the scene with police evidence technicians.

It was a busy weekend for the American Red Cross as they responded to about a dozen different fires in our area. They include a fatal fire in Milwaukee Saturday night, October 17th and an apartment fire Sunday morning, that displaced dozens.

The apartment fire took place inside a 30-unit complex near W. Appleton Avenue and W. Keefe Avenue Parkway around 6 a.m. Sunday morning.

Police say the fire is considered suspicious and is likely arson. They are interviewing the property manager in connection with this case.

Imperial Apartments fire

Imperial Apartments fire

The Red Cross says 28 of the 30 units were occupied and at least 35 people are now displaced. By Sunday afternoon, restoration crews boarded up the windows and families are told they won't be back for at least two weeks.

"Damage is pretty widespread," said Leslie Luther, American Red Cross.

The fatal house fire broke out just after 10 p.m. near 44th and Juneau. When the Milwaukee Fire Department arrived on scene, they found a 33-year-old man unresponsive inside the residence. Lifesaving efforts were attempted, however, they were unsuccessful. The victim was the lone occupant of the residence.

Police say it appears that the fire started in the kitchen area of the home.  At this time, there does not appear to be foul-play involved.

Fatal house fire near 44th and Juneau

Fatal house fire near 44th and Juneau

It's been a demanding weekend for the Red Cross. Since Wednesday, Luther says they've responded to 11 fires in the Milwaukee area -- 8 of them since Friday.

"That's a lot for us, that's a lot," said Luther.

The Red Cross is helping 65 new families as investigators try to figure out the causes of those fires.

"We don't really have a reason why, sometimes they say it's just to do with the weather, turning on different things," said Luther.

The Milwaukee Fire Department says their weekend was actually only slightly busier than normal.

"Over the last couple of days, we've had a little bit of an uptick in activity as far as fire duty is concerned over our average but it hasn't been anything that is extraordinary by any means," said Chief Lintonen.

With cold weather coming, the Milwaukee Fire Department says now is a good time to check your heater, make sure your smoke detector is working properly -- and talk about an escape plan with your family.

If you are in the Milwaukee area and are in need of a smoke detector, you can call(414)286-8980 and one will be delivered and installed for you.

If you would like to learn more about how the Red Cross is caring for those affected by these fires, and how you can help, CLICK HERE.