Building a total loss after fire breaks out on Milwaukee's south side

NOW: Building a total loss after fire breaks out on Milwaukee’s south side

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee firefighters were out in the heat for several hours Monday, battling a large fire at a building on Milwaukee's south side.

The building near 20th and Mitchell Street is a total loss. It was razed Monday after a fire broke out just before 3 a.m.

Milwaukee Fire Department was on the scene for more than 6 hours, fighting flames from the outside to ensure the fire wouldn't spread.

"This is a very tight knit residential neighborhood, and we could have easily lost several more structures, but because of the aggressive nature nature of our operation, we were able to keep it to the buildings of origin," said battalion chief Dan Rode.

The building was made to have businesses on the first floor and apartments on the second floor, but Rode believes it was vacant at the time.

 by CBS 58

"The building was under renovation from what we understand. Nobody's injured at this time, thank God," he said.

It was a difficult firefighting effort, with outside temperatures nearing 90 degrees.

"It's tough because you can imagine wearing our gear, what it does is it raises our core temperature to 120, 130 degrees," Rode said. "We call in additional crews to rotate everybody."

They also called in the Milwaukee Fire Bell Club, a volunteer support system for firefighters, to keep them hydrated.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Milwaukee Fire Department is reminding residents to make sure they have working smoke detectors, and with the hot days ahead, not to tamper with any fire hydrants.

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