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Fire destroys two Kenosha homes

Posted: 8:55 PM, Sep 04, 2017
Updated: 2017-09-05 11:31:32-04

KENOSHA -- Two families are having to start over on the Labor Day holiday after their homes in Kenosha went up in flames Monday. The fire was so intense it started in one home and jumped to the other.

It happened shortly before 4 p.m. in the 4600 block of 18th Avenue.

While fighting the fire, crews had to stop because a power line fell over the truck trapping the crew and electrifying everything.

Karen Scofield had just returned from the grocery store and was unloading bags when she heard shouts from her family.

“I was standing in the art room and my son-in-law yelled the house is on fire. We left without grabbing anything,” Scofield said.

Scofield's son-in-law grabbed his two small children and ran out. She went back to see if she could save the house. 

“I did open the door for a split second to throw water on it but it was already a wall of fire,” she said.

Kenosha Fire Department Battalion Chief Matthew Haerter said he believed the fire had been burning in the attic for some time, causing it to quickly spread. On top of it, a power line came down whiles the crews were fighting the flames. 

"We had a primary electrical line that came down from the lines you see above us. It electrified all our hose lines as well as our primary engine and ladder truck,” Haerter said.

All the firefighters were forced to drop their hoses, and Haerter said they had to get some of their people to safety so they were not electrocuted.  

The fire jumped next door to the Sanchez family's home. Thankfully, nobody was home at the time.

“We were fine but everything was gone,” Francisca Sanchez said.

It was a sentiment shared by her neighbor, who is also forced to start over. 

“I think everyone is safe and that is what matters. Everything else we can deal with,” Scofield said.

Scofield said she had to break the news to her grandson who lives in the home that the presents for his fifth birthday are all gone.