UPDATE: Wausau apartment fire cause ruled accidental - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Wausau apartment fire cause ruled accidental

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UPDATE 10 October 2012 -  The Wausau Fire marshal says the cause of an apartment complex fire Sunday night was ruled accidental.

Dave DeSantis says it appears the fire started behind a wood-burning fireplace on the second floor.

The call for the fire at Tamarack Heights Apartment complex came in around 11pm Sunday.  The apartment building is on Wausau's west side.

Firefighters say everyone got out safely but the building is a total loss.  Officials estimated the damage at $300,000.



8 October 2012 - Wausau Fire Department officials say the fire at the Tamarack Heights Apartment complex may have been caused by a wood burner.

Officials say the fire caused $300,000 in damage and are still investigating the scene to determine the exact cause.

Stay with Newsline 9 for the latest information on the fire.



7 October 2012 - Firefighters say the Tamarack Heights Apartment complex is a total loss after an overnight fire.

Crews say everyone was able to get out safely but several tenants are now left with nothing. Tenant Paul McCoy recounts frightening situation. "There was pounding, people screaming. I didn't know what was going on so I got up and opened the door and saw fire rolling down the ceiling of the hallway." McCoy had just fallen asleep when he woke to orange flames and heavy smoke filling his apartment complex.

McCoy moved to Tamarack Heights on Wausau's west side back in March. He says now, everything he has is gone.

Wausau Battalion Chief Paul Czarapata says the call came in around 11:00 p.m. Sunday and the apartment complex was consumed by flames by the time they arrived.

He says there are eight apartment units here, seven of them occupied.

Firefighters say the roof collapsed and the fire quickly spread. "Heavy orange flames just like a gigantic campfire coming out of both roofs. A large column of smoke. Sparks starting to fly," Czarapata said.

Several departments and dozens of firefighters worked quickly to put out the flames. Czarapata says help is available for people who lost their homes. "Red cross has been notified so that their needs will be taken care of."

McCoy says he's got another place to stay but doesn't have renters insurance. "I just lost everything so, what are you going to do?" McCoy estimates he lost about $20,000 worth of property in the fire but says he's just glad the people living here and their pets made it out okay.

Czarapata says firefighters have not determined a cause. He says the blaze is completely out by officials are monitoring hot spots. We're told it does not appear to be suspicious.

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