Fire causes $5,000 in damages to apartment complex

An early morning apartment fire Thursday caused $5,000 in damages at Riverside Apartments, 122 Hall St., according to Watertown Fire Chief Kraig Biefeld. He said his department responded at 3:36 a.m. to a possible fire in the wall of a vacant apartment.

An early morning apartment fire Thursday caused $5,000 in damages, according to Watertown Fire Chief Kraig Biefeld.

He said his department responded at 3:36 a.m. to a possible fire in the wall of a vacant apartment at Riverview Apartments, 122 Hall St., near Riverside Middle School.

There were no injuries and no one was displaced from the apartment building. The city building inspector was also called to the scene for assistance.

Watertown police arrived on the scene before the fire department and reported smoke in the hallway of the 32-unit apartment complex and began knocking on apartment doors to get residents out of the building.

Biefeld said his department was on scene at 3:41 a.m. and got into the first floor of the apartment complex to locate the blaze, which was in a wall of an apartment. The wall was opened up and the fire was extinguished at 3:57 a.m., Biefeld reported. He said the fire was contained to the wall, but it began making its way to the apartment above it.

“We knocked it down pretty quickly, which was good,” Biefeld said.

He said the fire was in the wall between a bathroom and the common hallway. Biefeld said the cause was from workers soldering replacement piping Wednesday in a bathroom, which caused materials to smolder causing the fire.

Firefighters continued evacuating residents and searching the units for other individuals. Biefeld said his department began at 4:02 a.m. to clearing smoke from the building.

He said fire crews remained on scene until 5:37 a.m.

There were no injuries and no one was displaced from the apartment building. The city building inspector was also called to the scene for assistance.

The Watertown Fire Department requested additional aid through the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) and Waterloo, Ixonia, Lake Mills, Johnson Creek, Clyman Fire Departments arrived on scene. Lake Mills EMS also was on scene while the Sullivan Fire Department provided a fire engine and Beaver Dam provided an ambulance to cover any additional calls in Watertown.

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