‘It’s sad:’ Multi-alarm fire at White Oaks apartment complex in Bayside spreads to 3 floors

Fire at White Oaks apartment complex, Bayside

BAYSIDE -- Dozens of people evacuated when a huge fire broke out at the White Oaks apartment complex in Bayside early Saturday, March 30.  Firefighters from North Shore Fire/Rescue were on the scene for hours on North Port Washington Road, along with firefighters from the City of Milwaukee.

"Bayside jumped out at me you know hearing that, it's sad," said Dave Sobelman, Sobelman's owner.

According to officials, the fire started in the attic and moved quickly throughout the building.

Fire at White Oaks apartment complex, Bayside

Fire at White Oaks apartment complex, Bayside

Nicole Gulatz

"Sixty-two units and a lot of people obviously needing help," said Nicole Gulatz, with the American Red Cross.

North Shore Fire Chief Robert Whitaker explained the roof experienced extensive fire damage.

All occupants were accounted for, which Whitaker said is "miraculous." However, their belongings were not. "Everyone's still processing, you know, it happened late at night," said Gulatz.

Fire at White Oaks apartment complex, Bayside

Bayside apartment fire (credit: North Shore Fire/Rescue Facebook)

While there were no fatalities reported, there were several minor injuries. Two people were transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The American Red Cross set up a shelter at St. Eugene Congregation where at least 14 of those displaced will stay.

Fire at White Oaks apartment complex, Bayside

Fire at White Oaks apartment complex, Bayside

"We've got breakfast, lunch and dinner and also helping people getting their prescriptions," said Gulatz.

Among the Red Cross volunteers are also concerned neighbors like Dave Sobelman, who brought dinner to those left with nothing.

Relief for fire victims at White Oaks apartment complex, Bayside

Dave Sobelman

"Makes me feel good. Not a big deal," Sobelman said.

Laron Taylor, who owns a Laron Taylor's Gourmet Cookies, also brought in a personal delivery.

"Just gourmet cookies couple different types just something to tie people over and make them feel good," said Taylor.

"I think southeastern Wisconsin people as a whole is just so generous and people are always reaching out," Gulatz said.

While people's belongings might be gone, many remember a life is irreplaceable.

Fire at White Oaks apartment complex, Bayside

"We know that everyone's going to step when something affects this area as dramatically as it did last night," Taylor said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, and in the meantime the Red Cross is asking for help with finances.

Fire at White Oaks apartment complex, Bayside

"We will be here for several days doing an investigation," explained Eric Miller.

People are encouraged to stay out of the area as crews continue to investigate.

The fire could be seen from Interstate-43 -- which is just west of the apartment complex. The picture below shows what could be seen from a WisDOT traffic camera.

Fire at White Oaks apartment complex, Bayside (WisDOT)

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.