Apartment residents complain of damages, breathing troubles after arson near 29th & Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE -- Residents are complaining of breathing troubles and damage to their homes after fire tore through their apartment building near 29th and Wisconsin.

It's been nearly three weeks since firefighters rushed to the burning apartment building on June 17. Since then, police arrested the person they say was responsible. As it turns out, it was a woman who was angry with her ex-boyfriend who allegedly caused it all.

"Fire department had to kick my door in," said Cheryl Murdock, waiting for repairs.

Left with a splintered door frame and gaping hole, Cheryl Murdock is one of several tenants still waiting for repairs.

"We are doing all we can to make sure everyone is secure and OK," said Melvin, maintenance cleaning manager.

Melvin the maintenance cleaning manager says restoration crews have been working at the building nonstop for the past few weeks.

"A lot of cleaning, priming, painting," said Melvin.

Milwaukee police say Lartrese Rogers admitted to setting her ex-boyfriend's clothes on fire and the blaze quickly spread from the closet.

Lartrese Rogers

"What she did was really not good at all," Murdock said.

Cheryl Murdock

A lot of damage was done but it's what you can't see that continues to have a lingering effect.

"There is still smoke up there," said resident Tiara Murry. "Soon as the fire was over my baby started wheezing and coughing heavy."

Tiara Murry is worried about her family; not just her infant but also Rogers, who is her aunt.

Tiara Murry

"I know she was going through a lot," Murry said.

Court documents say the 33-year-old woman became angry when her ex said he didn't want anything to do with her anymore.

"I don't think she meant for it to go the way that it went," Murry said.

Police say Rogers later showed remorse during her confession of the crime but despite her apologies, some tenants are not easily forgiving.

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"You put everyone's lives in danger," said Murdock.

Thankfully no residents were seriously injured during the fire. As for Rogers, she faces charges including first-degree recklessly endangering safety, arson of a building and obstructing an officers. If convicted, she could face more than 50 years in prison.