Portage, WI: On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, at 6:28 p.m. the Portage Fire Department was dispatched to 2830 Village Road; Village House Apartments for a report of black smoke coming from the lower apartment. Upon arrival Portage Fire reported moderate smoke showing from the exterior of a two story, 24-unit apartment building. City PD arrived on scene and began to evacuate residents from the building. The fire crews began an interior fire attack and quickly knocked the fire down before it spread to the upper units. Multiple fire crews searched the structure for residents. Residents were resistant to leave the structure, but were successfully evacuated. The tenant wasn’t home at the time of the fire. The fire started on top of the stove and spread throughout the kitchen. PFD fire crews completed overhaul to prevent fire extension to the rest of the structure. The crews investigated and removed smoke and CO from the building before allowing the residents an opportunity to get their essential belongings. There is heavy smoke damage to the north end of the structure. The fire damage was contained to the first-floor apartment.
Alliant Energy was called to the scene to help secure the power. The Portage Police Department assisted on scene with traffic control and logistics. Pardeeville Fire, Poynette Fire, and Wyocena Fire were called to assist with the fire as well. Aspirus MedEvac assisted on scene with firefighter incident rehab and care for the residents. The Columbia County Dispatch Center provided essential communications to get the needed resources to the scene. Some residents were able to find a place to stay while others were assisted by Red Cross with shelter and food for the night. There were no injuries reported. The fire is under investigation at this time.
Tomorrow the fire department will be in the neighborhood to canvass the area and spread the word about the importance of fire prevention and escape planning and exiting.