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UPDATE: Roughly 75 residents affected by apartment complex fire

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Emergency crews battled high winds April 18 to bring a fire under control at an apartment complex on the 3100 blocks of Muir Field Road in Madison.
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WKOW photo
Photo courtesy Heather Reese
Photo courtesy Heather Reese
WKOW photo

UPDATE (WKOW) -- "It's scary, you don't really think about it until it happens to you," Kristen Barstow and Matt Mayo said.

The young couple was jolted into action Saturday afternoon, as one of their neighbors started banging on their door.

"The lady in the red just started running through our apartment saying get out she looked out the window and said 'Oh my Gosh just go, go, go,' and we just saw flames throughout our whole apartment," they said.

Jaqueline Flores was the woman in red.

"[Her family member] is the maintenance guy so he and I just ran, knocked on the windows, doors and pulled the fire alarm and tell everybody to get out,"

Because of the quick work of some good Samaritans everyone was able to get out uninjured.

The fire got out of hand just as fast, in part because of the wind, but also because the building didn't have sprinklers.

"It's another argument, now you have 75 people without a home tonight and a sprinkler could have prevented that," Madison Fire Chief Steven Davis said.

With the challenges posed by the fire, Chief Davis says it took firefighters around an hour to put it out.

"Once it gets up into the attic like today with the wind driving it through there's just not a lot you can do," he said.

Chief Davis expects the rebuilding process might take six months to a year.

Already adding to the difficulties because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"You know it's worse, everything is worse now. The social distancing is not working right now, everybody is together crying and it's all scary," Flores said.

The Red Cross has helped some of those who can't stay in their homes stay at a hotel.

The team was working to connect by phone for social distancing and trying to reach everyone who might need help.

MADISON (WKOW) -- Emergency crews battled high winds Saturday to bring a fire under control at an apartment complex on the 3100 blocks of Muir Field Road in Madison.

Roughly 75 residents have been affected, according to the American Red Cross, which has a disaster team at the complex.

Dane County Communication said the call came in around 1:06 p.m. and that the Madison Fire Department responded.

Photographs from witnesses show fire coming from the eaves of a building that is part of the Tucson Trails complex.

The cause of the fire and any injuries are unknown at this time.

The American Red Cross is in contact with building managers and their disaster teams are in the early stages of assessing temporary lodging and basic needs for people in approximately 24 units of the building.

Each unit has 2-to-3 bedrooms, so 75 people could be affected, according to a spokesperson.

If needed, they will work with residents on temporary lodging at a local hotel.
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