“Substantial amount of damage: Fire tears through Kenosha Education Association building

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KENOSHA -- A fire broke out at the Education Association building in Kenosha  early Friday morning, July 28th. The fire damaged most of the building and completely destroyed the roof.

Greg DeAngelis

The fire broke out around 3 a.m. and required multiple agencies to put out.

"My job, there's nothing left, it's just everything is up in smoke," said Greg DeAngelis.

Greg DeAngelis has been a maintenance worker at the Kenosha Educational Association for nearly two decades. On Thursday night, he was one of the last people out of the building.

Fire at Kenosha Education Association building

Fire at Kenosha Education Association building

"Well, the first one was at three o'clock, it was totally engulfed. Then about four o'clock they started opening up the roof, and that's when it broke out again," said DeAngelis.

Firefighters continue to investigate the cause of the fire, but say putting it out was a challenge.

"The original roof, made out of steel, absolutely impeded our ability to get into that attic space from below, which is something we'd normally employ as a tactic," said Battalion Chief Matthew Haerter, Kenosha Fire  Department.

Fire at Kenosha Education Association building

Once the fire was extinguished, crews worked quickly to begin salvaging what remains of the structure.

Fire at Kenosha Education Association building

"Obviously we have a substantial amount of damage here from fire and also water,"said Haerter.

As fire crews began to wrap up,  DeAngelis walked around the front lot trying to make sense of what happened, and figure out what's next.

"It's hard, you just got to go day by day. It's all we can do," said DeAngelis.

Fire at Kenosha Education Association building

Jill Jensen, a Kenosha teacher and president of the Kenosha Education Association, issued this statement on the fire:

“Our Association of educators continues to assess the situation and will lose no time moving forward with our mission – supporting Kenosha educators so they are best prepared to welcome their students back to school. It’s still too early to tell the extent of damage from the early-morning fire at the Kenosha Education Association headquarters, but local teachers and support staff are thankful no one was harmed. Our appreciation goes out to the rescue crews that responded to keep our neighbors safe. We are overwhelmed by the absolute outpouring of support from teachers' unions across the state and nation and other unions, including the local United Auto Workers."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.