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Christmas Night Apartment Fire Displaces Residents

South Shore Fire had an apartment building fire under control in minutes, but the damage in some units is pretty extensive.

**Updated 1:20 p.m.

Smoking materials may be the cause of an apartment building fire Christmas night that displaced nine Mount Pleasant families. 

According to a press release from the South Shore Fire Department, fire fighters responded at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday to a 16-unit apartment building fire in the 2000 block of Frankie Place. 

When units arrived on scene, heavy fire and smoke were visible from a second-floor balcony. Flames were spreading through the attic and the space between the first and second floors. The wind that night moved the fire quickly through the building, but fire fighters still had the blaze under control in about 20 minutes.

Bill Simmons, disaster coordinator of Racine County for the American Red Cross, said all residents - nine families - were displaced because of the fire.

"Some had a place to go, but we provided emergency shelter in a local hotel for five families," he said. 

Going forward the Red Cross will work with those families to determine their needs, Simmons added.

Damage to the building is extensive, especially in two units, but some residents may be able to move back in a day or two, the SSFD release said.

Units from Caledonia, Racine, Raymond and Somers fire departments also responded to the scene while fire fighters from Kansasville, Oak Creek and Somers provided coverage at a South Shore fire station in case of an additional emergency.

There were no injuries to residents or to fire fighters.

Mount Pleasant Police Chief Tim Zarzecki said there is no connection between this fire and the one on 16th Street that is now a homicide investigation. The cause of the fire in the apartment building is believed to be an accident.

"Smoking materials are believed to be what caused this fire on Frankie Place," he said.

Investigators from SSFD and the Racine County Fire Investigation Taskforce are still working on confirming the cause of the fire.

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