Fire breaks out at apartment complex near campus


Photo by Alena Purpero/ Lifestyle Editor

Firefighter’s work to contain the fire at University Gardens on Nov. 9

Emily Lepkowski, News Editor

A four-alarm fire at the apartment building University Gardens on 370 N. Tratt St. has been contained after more than 20 fire departments rushed to the scene.

According to FOX6 News, officials with the Fort Atkinson Fire Department received initial reports that there were residents trapped on the second floor of the building. The Whitewater fire department confirmed that those people made it out of the building safely.

The cause of the massive blaze is still unknown at this time but the police have started an investigation. Fire officials were also not able to comment on anything regarding the situation.

Students living in the apartment buildings were being encouraged to go to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Visitor Center while displaced community members were being asked to go to the Williams Center, Gymnasium #1.

Junior, Sara Fuller, was in class when she saw text messages from her friends that her apartment building was on fire.

“I ran out of class, sprinted all the way home and it was the building next to mine so I kinda stood outside and watched everybody just leave their building,” Fuller said. “They were sitting on the ground with no coats on and I just wanted to do something nice and bring some snacks and stuff because, I mean, it’s cold outside and they don’t have anywhere to cook food.”  

University Gardens resident Antionne McGruder recalled the moment of panic at his apartment when the fire broke out.

“The bricks had blown off the surface of the building,” McGruder said. “That’s when a police officer told me ‘you need to get out of here now!’ She flicked the fire alarm, and we all went outside.”

McGruder also witnessed other residents jumping out of windows to safety.

Without a place to sleep tonight, McGruder hopes to find a ride back to his hometown of Milwaukee.

Story last updated at 11:13 p.m.