Man runs back inside burning Ashwaubenon apartments to save people, pets

15 were left homeless
Posted at 10:33 PM, May 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-30 15:50:32-04

The American Red Cross had a busy weekend in Brown County helping dozens of families forced out of their homes in weekend fires.

In Ashwaubenon, 15 people were left without a home after Sunday's fire at the Foxcroft Apartments.

On Sunday evening, tenants there heard a noise no one can truly prepare for.

"Cooking dinner and then fire alarms started going off," one said.

Smoke began to fill the units from the second floor where the fire is believed to have started.

"Looked up and sure enough I could see smoke coming over the building," said a tenant.

Within minutes of noticing the smoke and flames, firefighters arrived on scene.

"Two of the units are heavily involved with the fire and the rest of the complex suffered severe water and smoke damage," said Chief Eric Dunning with Ashwaubenon Public Safety.

While everyone was running out of the burning building, one man who lives there was running the opposite way to offer his neighbors help.

"I ran into my apartment, grabbed my fire extinguisher and I bolted over there," said Jacob Wright.

Wright said he broke windows belonging to his neighbors out so they, or their pets, could escape.

"Came downstairs, I broke the windows of that apartment," Wright explained. "I came down to a couple other apartments and got everyone out and went in and grabbed a dog that was in a crate and brought it outside."

Wright fought through the smoke, crawling on the floor at times just to breath.

He made it out of the fire, but ultimately had to be transported to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. However, he said he'd do it again.

"I would have felt worse if I didn't do anything," Wright said.

No one else was hurt and all pets were found safe. Initially, firefighters said the fire caused $250,000 worth of damage.