ALLOUEZ - Three firefighters were sent to the hospital with minor injuries as crews continue to fight a fire at a 74-unit apartment building in Allouez.
Firefighters arrived at the Hilltop Place Apartments on Hilltop Way at about 11:30 a.m. Thursday. They shut down many of the busier streets in the area, including parts of Allouez Avenue, East River Drive, and Hoffman Road.
The Red Cross is assisting 107 displaced residents, including 16 children. It set up an emergency shelter at Langlade Elementary School.
Red Cross officials say most of the displaced residents are staying with family tonight, however eight people are staying overnight at Langlade.
Four of the 74 units were vacant.
"My neighbor called me and she said 'your apartment building is on fire, get home, go get your cat,'" said Roxanne Ponchaud, a displaced resident.
Ponchaud made it in time getting her cat, Squeaker, to safety. But others weren't as lucky, coming home late in the afternoon to see their home in flames.
"It was originally a basement fire," said Lt. Nick Craig with the Green Bay Metro Fire Department. "The fire then spread through some of the void spaces, got up in the attic."
"I came down this end of the building and went in and woke her up and got my other son out and went in and pounded on the neighbor's doors to get them out," said Debra Armstrong, a displaced resident. "The smoke was really bad in the hallway."
Within the first half hour, fire crews thought they had a handle on the fire. But they quickly realized the old construction of the building was making things worse.
"When this building was built the fire code was not as strict, having that free reign for that fire to basically go all the way down the attic with nothing there to stop it, basement same story, basically means it can go wherever it wants very quickly," said Lt. Craig.
More than 21 fire departments ended up battling the blaze.
Red Cross representatives were also on scene most of the day, sifting through people watching the fire, determining who needed a place to stay for the night.
"Obviously we know they aren't able to get back in, so we can provide them a debit card for immediate clothing needs, if anybody has medication needs, eyeglass prescriptions. We can help with that," said Weyers.
"I don't know what we're going to do," said Armstrong.
At one point there were 90 fire-related vehicles on scene. Fire officials tell FOX 11 that is right on par with the 2011 fire in Pulaski, which was also about a block long.
The Red Cross is asking for monetary donations. People can either call them at 1-800-Red-Cross or visit their web site at redcross.org. Donations can also be dropped off at their Deckner Avenue office.
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