Fire officials say apartment complex is total loss - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Fire officials say apartment complex is total loss

WAUSAU (WAOW) - Firefighters say the Tamarack Heights Apartment complex is a total loss after an overnight fire.

Crews say everyone was able to get out safely but several tenants are now left with nothing. Tenant Paul McCoy recounts frightening situation. "There was pounding, people screaming. I didn't know what was going on so I got up and opened the door and saw fire rolling down the ceiling of the hallway." McCoy had just fallen asleep when he woke to orange flames and heavy smoke filling his apartment complex.

McCoy moved to Tamarack Heights on Wausau's west side back in march. He says now, everything he has is gone.

Wausau Battalion Chief Paul Czarapata says the call came in around 11:00 p.m. Sunday and the apartment complex was consumed by flames by the time they arrived.

He says there are eight apartment units here, seven of them occupied.

Firefighters say the roof collapsed and the fire quickly spread. "Heavy orange flames just like a gigantic campfire coming out of both roofs. A large column of smoke. Sparks starting to fly," Czarapata said.

Several departments and dozens of firefighters worked quickly to put out the flames. Czarapata says help is available for people who lost their homes. "Red cross has been notified so that their needs will be taken care of."

McCoy says he's got another place to stay but doesn't have renters insurance. "I just lost everything so, what are you going to do?" McCoy estimates he lost about $20,000 worth of property in the fire but says he's just glad the people living here and their pets made it out okay.

Czarapata says firefighters have not determined a cause. He says the blaze is completely out by officials are monitoring hot spots. We're told it does not appear to be suspicious.


WAUSAU, Wis. (AP) - Wausau fire officials say a west side apartment complex that went up in flames is a total loss.

Residents of the Tamarack Heights complex got out safely when the fire started about 11 p.m. Sunday. Wausau firefighters got help from several area fire departments in battling the blaze, which spread quickly and caused the roof to collapse.

Several tenants told WAOW-TV they lost everything in the fire.

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