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“Engulfed in minutes:” Intense flames rip through Kenosha home; spread to neighbor’s

KENOSHA -- Flames jumped from one Kenosha home to another on Labor Day, Monday, September 5th during an intense blaze near 18th Avenue and 48th Street -- and firefighters had to put their hoses down as flames grew.

For seven minutes, they had to put their hoses down and back away from their trucks because an electrical line fell onto their equipment.

Thankfully, no one was hurt.

The flames ripped through the home before spreading to the neighbor's home.

Fire in Kenosha

"It was engulfed in a matter of minutes," Mike Reed, neighbor said.

The whole block watched in disbelief as it grew stronger.

"The house is really old. It could have been electrical in the attic," Alex Colbert said.

Fire in Kenosha

The home belongs to Colbert's mother. He said everyone inside had no idea fire was burning above them.

"The attic was on fire. She went up there with a bucket of water thinking it was a small fire -- and it was just everywhere," Colbert said.

Fire in Kenosha

The fire was so intense, and Monday's wind so strong that the home just to the south also burned.

Video taken by neighbors across the street shows another challenge for firefighters.

"We did have to stop firefighting operations for seven minutes because we had a primary electrical line that came down from above us," Matthew Haerter, battalion chief with the Kenosha Fire Department said.

Officials said the line electrified one of their trucks and burned through several hoses.

Fire in Kenosha

The initial home is considered a total loss after this fire. In the second, smoke billowed out from the roof hours after crews arrived. Luckily, everyone was out of both before firefighters got to the scene.

Fire in Kenosha

Jared Hunt was inside the home where the fire started. He said he's grateful for the 50+ men and women who rushed to the scene to put it out.

"There's a lot of people, a lot of firemen and police officers from places I don't recognize the names of even, but if you're watching this, thank you," Hunt said.

Fire in Kenosha

One resident did suffer smoke inhalation that aggravated a pre-existing condition, and we're told a firefighter was hit by falling debris. Both are expected to be OK.

Fire in Kenosha

Fire in Kenosha