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Fire at 20-unit apartment building in Waukesha likely sparked by careless use of smoking materials

WAUKESHA -- Firefighters responded to a 20-unit apartment fire in Waukesha early Monday morning, November 27th, believed to have been sparked by the careless use of smoking materials.

Officials with the Waukesha Fire Department said an investigation has revealed the fire started on a third-floor balcony, and police and fire officials said the building's owners will be working with the City of Waukesha's Building Department to restore, rebuilding and reoccupy the building.

Crews were called out shortly before 12:30 a.m. to the apartment building near West Saint Paul Avenue and Fairview Avenue. When firefighters arrived, flames were coming off from the roof and that third-floor balcony. Police on scene had safely helped residents of the building outside.

The fire was brought under control within about an hour.

One resident was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene, but is expected to be OK.

The Red Cross was assisting 15 displaced residents.

"They will probably be allowed in to get, at least on the bottom floor, to get things they need like medication," Acting Battalion Chief Lt. Mike Gartzke said.

The Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) is taking care of the displaced pets. Firefighters believe all the pets in this building were also safely recovered.

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The fire damage is contained to just the third floor and the first and second floors suffered water damage.

"The damage is extensive but they should be able to get in and repair it," Gartzke said.