UPDATE: Red Cross, Vernon County Emergency Management continue help for seniors displaced by apartment fire

VIROQUA, Wis. (WKBT) — The American Red Cross and Vernon County Emergency Management are continuing to help provide shelter, food and health needs for several people displaced in a senior apartment building fire Thursday.

The agencies established a shelter Thursday, and 11 of the 23 residents stayed at the shelter at The Fairhaven, according to a news release. The other residents had other accommodations.

The Red Cross and Emergency Management are continuing to help provide the essential shelter, food and health needs of those still displaced because of the fire at the Broadway Court Apartments, which is for seniors ages 62 or older.

THURSDAY STORY:

VIROQUA (WKBT) — A fire displaced more than 20 seniors living in a Viroqua apartment building early Thursday morning.

Nobody was injured, and the building was saved thanks to a quick response from the Viroqua Fire Department.

Viroqua Fire Chief Chad Buros said it was a team effort, as more than 16 different fire departments and organizations stepped in to help with the fire.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Buros will release a statement as soon as he knows.

Now the focus is on repairing the building, and the tenants may be without a home for more than a week.

“I managed to get out. There was thick smoke on the second floor. I open up the door, and it comes rolling in, so I go rolling out,” said apartment tenant Kathryn Kreinz.

Kreinz is one of 23 people who had to evacuate the building.

The Broadway Court Apartments is for seniors ages 62 or older, and it was no easy task avoiding the flames.

“We have a 91-year-old woman and she did amazingly well. It was 49 degrees outside, and we sat outside the building trying to figure out where to take us,” said Kreinz.

The American Red Cross and Vernon County Emergency Management took the tenants to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, where they supplied them with blankets, shelter, and food.

The fire was under control in 20 minutes, and Buros is thankful nobody was injured.

“Today just came together real nice, the firefighters, Viroqua firefighters, and other surrounding firefighters did an amazing job, made an amazing stop. We Contained it into one apartment. The Viroqua Police Department was amazing. They were a huge help in evacuating and getting people out safely. And to have the outcome of no injuries is great,” Buros said.

As for Kreinz and the other tenants, they’ll be staying with friends, family, or a place provided by the Red Cross. They’re unsure when they can be back.

“Some of us may be out overnight, some of us a few weeks is what I’ve heard,” she said.

They’re all just thankful the damage wasn’t worse.

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