UPDATE: Hoarding conditions contributed to Sheridan Road fire’s severity
What a fire official called “hoarding conditions” contributed to the severity of a fire in a home on Sheridan Road Tuesday as well as made it difficult to fight.
From a briefing Kenosha Fire Department Battalion Chief Matthew Haerter gave to the media at the scene:
The initial response was for smoke in a house in the 7400 block of Sheridan Road. The first fire personnel on the scene found smoke coming from the front porch. Upon further investigation, the hoarding conditions were discovered. The single occupant of the home was outside, but her pets were still inside initially. Firefighters were able to rescue a dog, but six cats are presumed dead because they were still inside. Due to the amount of material in the single-family house, the fire spread quickly to all floors. Firefighters were not able to effectively move through the structure, so they took to controlling the fire from the outside in what Haerter termed a defensive posture. The fire was under control but not extinguished within about an hour. Eventually, fire command decided to tear down the building so it could be sure all fire was out. During the demolition, fires continued to be discovered in stud spaces and between floors. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians. At it’s height, the department had four engines and three ladder trucks at the scene.
Speaking of the home’s owner and sole occupant, Haerter said:
“This is an extremely sad day While she does have her health, she literally lost everything. We certainly give our best wishes to her and hope she can find some comfort in that she is well as well as her dog.”
Here is a link to our original coverage yesterday.