Overnight fire in Waukesha forces evacuation of entire apartment complex
6:25 AM, Nov 27, 2017
12:20 PM, Nov 27, 2017
WAUKESHA -- An overnight fire caused major damage to the Rivercrest apartment complex in Waukesha.
The fire sparked just after midnight on the third-floor balcony of the building on W. St. Paul Avenue.
“There were just flames shooting out of the balcony," Mari Colaiacomo said. “There were quite a few firemen basically running down the street into this building and as we watched I think the roof essentially collapsed."
According to the Waukesha Fire Department, the fire started on the top floor and quickly spread to the roof of the 20-unit apartment building. Colaiamcomo lives in a neighboring apartment complex and said she was terrified of what she saw.
"I have certainly seen fires before, but never one that looked like it would possibly engulf the entire top of an apartment building," she said. "We were mostly afraid for whoever lives in these apartments."
Despite the damage, everyone safely evacuated the building with assistance from the Waukesha Police Department.
Albert Rodriguez said he almost slept through the fire, but police kicked in his door and helped him and his family escape.