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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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060320frontapartmentfire.jpg

Fire Scene - City of Marinette firefighters prepare to enter the burning apartment building to search for possible trapped victims Thursday, May 28 at a fire at The Woods apartments at 3415 Cleveland Ave. in Marinette. Thanks to a quick knockdown of the flames most of the building was saved no injuries were reported. Top Photo:Lt. Doug VanWinkle, and firefighter Jordan Bourdelais get ready to search the building, while Assistant Chief Shawn Timblin radios orders to other firefighters.Bottom Left Photo: Menominee firefighter Scott Kotecki quickly knocks down flames from spreading further in the building. Bottom Right Photo: Marinette Fire Chief Jay Heckel uses an accountability board to keep track of equipment and manpower during the fire.

5 Area Departments Battle Marinette Apartment Fire

Issue Date: June 3, 2020

Approximately 40 firefighters from five departments battled an apartment fire at Woods Apartments, 3415 Cleveland Avenue in Marinette, Thursday May 28. Marinette Fire Department received the alarm at 6:45 p.m., and were on scene within five minutes. The City of Menominee Fire Department arrived shortly after.

Marinette Fire Chief Jay Heckel, immediately called for a MABAS box alarm which brought in engine companies from the Town of Peshtigo, Grover-Porterfield and the City of Peshtigo. Chief Heckel reported that firefighters observed large amounts of smoke and fire coming from the South side of the building on the second floor when they arrived. Marinette Police officers on scene, told firefighters that there may be children trapped on the second floor. Firefighters immediately conducted a primary search of the second and first floors of the building and found no one still in the building. Firefighters began a defensive attack of the fire but later switched to an offensive attack according to Chief Heckel.

Fire crews conducted multiple searches while extinguishing the fire but did not find anyone in the burning building. The building contained 16 apartments with 21 residents living there. The American Red Cross was called to assist families with housing, food and clothing. Firefighters remained on scene till 11:37 p.m. The property is owned by Carnahan Corporation of Milwaukee. Other agencies responding to the fire were Emergency Rescue Squad, Aurora Bay Area paramedics, Wisconsin Public Service and American Red Cross. No injuries were reported during the fire.

American Red Cross housed seven families at the Baymont Inn for Thursday and Friday evenings and opened 13 cases for the displaced families. Some of the families have declined assistance from American Red Cross and Abundant Life Mission.  Manager, Scott Hannon of Carnahan Corporation, stated that 14 families were displaced due to the building being condemned. Abundant life Missions offered shelter for the families.  St Joseph St. Vincent de Paul Conference and Abundant Life Mission coordinated the sheltering of four of the six families, the other families at this time have sought housing with families.

The community has worked together to help victims: Marinette Fire Department, American Red Cross, Marinette District Council of the Society of St Vincent de Paul, the St Joseph Conference, North East Wisconsin Community Action Program (NEWCAP), Marinette School District, Abundant Life Mission, Dorothy's Haven of Hope, and the National Society of St Vincent de Paul Disaster Services.  

Marinette Fire Department Chief Jay Heckel and Domino's sent pizzas for the families Thursday evening of the fire.  On Friday. May 29 American Red Cross disbursed direct assistance in the form of debit cards for incidentals, medications, food and housing for Saturday evening.  The District of St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, under direction of Bonnie Matthews, prepared food boxes for the families on Friday and dispersed masks for the families.  St Joseph Conference Members disbursed the food boxes to the families Friday morning.

St. Joseph St. Vincent de Paul Conference, Shawn Northrup, Case Manager and Jeanne Harper, Site Coordinator on Sunday disbursed gas cards, taxi cards and clothing vouchers for the family members immediate needs at the Abundant Life Mission.  Staff members of the Marinette School District have been behind the scenes calling the parents to ensure the children have what they need. 

On Friday and Saturday NEWCAP Makenna Kalata, Coordinated Entry Specialist and St Joseph Conferenced coordinated contacts with the families for immediate needs.  Makenna and NEWCAP will continue to assist with immediate needs of the families. Dorothy's Haven of Hope staff, Jackie and Kathy, were coordinating with us as well for one single person, but in the end the bed was not needed, but we appreciate their preparation to assist the displaced person.

Immediate needs are donations of food, linen and clothing to the Marinette District Council SVdP Thrift Store can be donated on Thursday and Friday only.  Abundant Life Mission "Second Chances" Thrift Shoppe will accept the linen and clothing needed for the families as well and the Shelter will be accepting food any day to serve the families.

Marinette District Council of the Society of St Vincent de Paul and St Joseph SSVdP Conference wrote a $5000 Rapid Recovery Grant to the SSVdP National Disaster Services, which they hope to match with community donations. Please send donations to match the grant to Marinette Society of St Vincent de Paul, Inc., P O Box 1111, Marinette, WI 54143.

Donations to Abundant Life Mission would be appreciated to 1406 10th Ave., Menominee, MI  49858 for purchase of additional foods and appreciation of housing the displaced families. 

The families at the Abundant Life Mission will have 90 days to secure shelter.  Once they secure housing, they will need household items, kitchen utensils, dishes, beds and frames, mattresses, etc.  They will keep the public informed at that time as to particular items needed.  The Marinette Woods Fire Site Coordinator is Jeanne Harper of the St Joseph St. Vincent de Paul Conference.  Makenna Kalata of NEWCAP and Harper and Shawn Northrup of St Joseph St. Vincent de Paul Conference will be the case managers until all the families have secured safe housing.  


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