CUDAHY -- Several people are fortunate to have escaped with their lives after fire damaged two condominiums in Cudahy on Monday, December 12th.
"Their holiday's going to be altered quite a bit," said Cudahy Fire Chief Dan Mayer. "Kind of hits home for us when we fight a fire where there's a Christmas tree up, Christmas gifts already set, and the fire comes in and damages everything -- and you know that all of that's ruined."
Chief Mayer said five people in the condos managed to avoid injuries at the Creekside Condominiums. But they did not avoid property loss.
"We have a total of five persons displaced. One person found his own place after that, but the Red Cross assisted the remainder -- the other four," Mayer said.
Mayer said the preliminary investigation indicates the fire began in or around a fixed-position fireplace.
"It's a permanent fireplace, a gas-powered fireplace, and we're not looking at the gas as being an issue. We're looking at the unit itself as overheating and possibly leading to a malfunction," Mayer said.
Fortunately, each of the two units affected by this fire had fully-functioning smoke detectors.
Chief Mayer estimates one of the damaged condos might be ready for residents to return in just a few weeks. The other, he believes, won't be ready to be a residence for months.