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‘Everything that we had is gone’: Milwaukee family homeless after duplex caught fire on New Year’s Day


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    MILWAUKEE (WDJT ) — Five people have been displaced after their apartment duplex caught fire. A mom and her 8-year-old daughter were able to escape. She’s now asking the community for help.

“2021 with nowhere to stay,” Benita Washington said.

Washington and her eight-year-old daughter lived on the second floor of a duplex home near 37th and Roberts

Shortly after midnight, the building caught fire.

“I remember kind of hearing the neighbors screaming downstairs,” she said. “I just saw flames coming up through the front, I got my daughter out of there.”

Milwaukee fire officials say the fire started in a first floor bedroom. They discovered it could have been due to a space heater.

“Our clothes, food, everything that we had is gone.”

Battalion Chief Robert Hartung says they usually see an uptick in fires during the winter time. He agrees that one of the most common causes is a space heater.

“The space heater themselves get very hot so if you have a couch too close to a space heater, a blanket falls on top of it, clothes, a shoe or anything that gets close to it or touching it, it can potentially cause that item to start on fire,” Robert Hartung said. He is a Battalion Chief with the Milwaukee Fire Department.

Benita Washington is still in shock. Her daughter doesn’t even have a pair of shoes. She’s completely starting scratch.

“If anybody can reach out and give us help that would fine.”

Washington is currently staying with a friend. If you would like to donate you can call this number 414-803-5610.

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Article Topic Follows: National/World

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