WHITEFISH BAY — North Shore Fire/Rescue officials on Tuesday evening, Sept. 4 battled a two-alarm fire at a home in Whitefish Bay. It happened around 6:15 p.m. near Hampton and Newhall.
Fire officials said arriving firefighters found heavy smoke and fire in the attic. Crews initiated an aggressive interior attack on the attic of the home. Firefighters also encountered high heat conditions and no visibility on the second floor.
Officials say it was difficult to extinguish because the fire would flare up again once they knocked it down.
Authorities say it was evident that there was a large volume of fire throughout the entire attic space and significant portions of the second floor. Due to the amount of fire and deteriorating conditions, crews were ordered out of the residence and off of the roof of the home to take up a defensive position.
Additionally, the incident commander requested a second alarm be called to have additional resources dispatched to the scene.
Several power lines were affected by the fire, making it difficult for crews to reach hidden pockets of fire along the attic roof line. Ultimately, crews were able to knock down the bulk of the fire from the exterior and resume an interior attack on hot spots.
The home’s construction required that crews conduct extensive overhaul to ensure that all of the fire was extinguished.
The two residents and their family pets were able to escape the home safely prior to the arrival of emergency crews.
One firefighter suffered minor injuries related to the heat and humidity and was transported with non-life threatening injuries to Ascension Columbia-St. Mary’s Milwaukee. He was treated and released.
The home suffered extensive damage and is considered a total loss. The damage estimate to the home and contents is estimated at approximately $405,000.
The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.
There were multiple reports of a lightning strike in the area shortly before the fire was located by the resident. This is one of the possible causes being explored by investigators.
North Shore Fire/Rescue was assisted on scene by crews from the Milwaukee, West Allis and Wauwatosa Fire Departments. Additionally, several other municipalities provided coverage on subsequent calls across the North Shore during the response.