Firefighters battle two-alarm fire at South Milwaukee home

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SOUTH MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Firefighters in South Milwaukee battled a fire at a two-story house in their city late on Wednesday morning, September 24th. The house is located on Rawson Ave. just east of 13th Ave. in South Milwaukee.

"Seen a lot of smoke at first, people yelling and then it just lit up. The tree was on fire and siding," said Erik Hurd, a neighbor who was in his shop when he saw the flames.

FOX6 News is told nine people live in the building's two units. None of them were home at the time of the fire. The American Red Cross says it is assisting four adults and five children displaced as a result of this fire.

"We do have reports that the first floor occupant left shortly before the fire. Nothing was awry at that time. Went down to the school to retrieve her children, pick up her children. By the time she came back, the fire units were already arriving on the scene," said South Milwaukee Fire Chief Joseph Knitter.

Knitter said the fire did extensive damage to the house -- and there may have been family pets inside.

"We got reports of one cat and one dog that live in the house. We have yet to find them. So we don't know if they escaped prior to the fire or if they perished in the fire. But we will definitely look for them," said Knitter.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. Fire crews from Milwaukee, North Shore, Wauwatosa and West Allis assisted the South Milwaukee Fire Department.