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‘Unbelievable:’ Officials work to determine cause of fire so intense it sent 6 to hospital

ELM GROVE -- Sixteen fire departments and three police departments responded to a fire in Elm Grove on Saturday evening, Oct. 6 that resulted in injuries to six firefighters, who were taken to the hospital, where they were treated and released.

The call came in shortly before 6:30 p.m. for the fire at a home on Fairhaven Boulevard near Watertown Plank Road.

Fire on Fairhaven Boulevard in Elm Grove

Paul Vrakas

"It's unbelievable," said Paul Vrakas.

Vrakas said his son's family lives in the home. When the fire broke out on Saturday evening, Vrakas' 17-year-old grandson was the only one inside.

"This is one of the oldest homes in Elm Grove. Over the years, they have redone the inside -- a lot of his own handwork. As we understand it, one of the neighbors saw the flames and went into the house. Alerted him. He was in another part of the house and didn't realize it was on fire," said Vrakas.

Fire on Fairhaven Boulevard in Elm Grove Courtesy: Elm Grove Wisconsin Police Department

Police said that 17-year-old was able to get out through the front door.

The smoke and fire was so intense, six firefighters had to be taken to the hospital from the scene.

"We are happy that everyone is OK," said Vrakas.

As crews came to board up windows on Sunday, investigators were working to determine a cause. Vrakas said he has his own theories about what made this such a stubborn firefight.

Fire on Fairhaven Boulevard in Elm Grove Courtesy: Elm Grove Wisconsin Police Department

Fire on Fairhaven Boulevard in Elm Grove Courtesy: Elm Grove Wisconsin Police Department

"It could be the hold frame -- the wood in the house had to be pretty much like matchsticks, if you will. There was a lot to burn," said Vrakas.

Police said an update could come as early as Monday.

Below is a list of agencies that responded to this blaze:

Fire:

Village of Elm Grove
City of Brookfield
City of Wauwatosa
City of West Allis
Town of Brookfield
City of New Berlin
Tess Corners
Town of Waukesha
Town of Lisbon
Village of Sussex air unit
Waukesha County Emergency Rehab
Village of Menomonee Falls
Village of Butler
Town of Delafield
City of Franklin
City of Milwaukee

Police:

Village of Elm Grove
City of Brookfield
City of Wauwatosa