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MFD: 15 people displaced by fire on Milwaukee’s south side; arson not ruled out

Fire near 17th and Greenfield

MILWAUKEE -- Fifteen people were displaced by a fire that broke out at a home near 17th and Greenfield on Milwaukee's south side late Saturday night, March 10 -- and officials haven't ruled out arson in this case.

Video submitted to FOX6 News by Pete's Fruit Market officials shows the fire at its worst. The video shows an orange glow lighting up the sky as fire swallowed the home.

"Initial reports were that all people were out, which we did confirm with searches on all three floors. It looks like we have 15 people displaced," said Raymond Groth with the Milwaukee Fire Department.

Fire officials said it started around 11:30 p.m. Saturday at the back of the home. On Sunday morning, Latoya Young, a neighbor, saw the devastation for herself.

"I heard about it this morning when I came outside to take out the garbage and my garbage cans were melted," Young said.

17th and Greenfield structure fire

Fire near 17th and Greenfield

Under the debris was tattered clothes, a melted shoe and liquefied trash cans. Hours after the flames were put out, the sunlight showed the destruction.

Fire crews say it started at the back of the home, traveled up the back  wall and in through the roof.

"I'm going to make sure that all my smoke detectors have working batteries," Young said.

Neighbors said this isn't the first time they had fires in the alley. Last summer, trash cans were set on fire -- but luckily, people noticed and put it out quickly.

"Feet away from me, so yeah, and I did not even smell or see any flames," Young said.

Fire near 17th and Greenfield

Fire near 17th and Greenfield

17th and Greenfield structure fire

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Due to the nature of the fire starting outside the home -- Battalion Chief Groth said he is not ruling out the possibility of arson.