We are at the scene of the apartment building fire in Camp Lake.
Per Sgt. Bill Beth, sheriff’s department spokesman: Call came in at about 3:50 a.m. Working smoke alarms awakened some residents. Deputies evacuated others. Some doors were broken down to alert some residents. Everyone got out safely. Fire started in attic or second floor. Cause unknown at this point.
We were able to speak to Town of Salem Fire/Rescue Chief Mike Slover. He told us the following: Only injury was a minor injury to a firefighter, which did not require a trip to the hospital. Overhaul is taking a while due to the nature of the older building and the location of the fire. The concern is damage the fire may have done to the trusses of the building, which could make it dangerous to enter. Fourth level MABAS alarm was called as of about 9 a.m. and an interdivisional task force for an engine company from Elkhorn. The additional manpower of the engine company was needed because firefighters were having to leave the scene to go to work. Cause of the fire is unknown at this point. “We think the fire started in the attic, but we’re not 100 percent sure,” Slover said. Sheriff’s Department investigators are on the scene to help try to figure out a cause.
Chief Slover also had special praise for the deputies who first responded to the call.
“The Sheriff’s Department did an outstanding job,” Slover said. “The patrol deputies responded and assisted people out of the building while it was on fire, so that’s a big reason we don’t have any other injuries or fatalities.”
Sgt. Beth said deputies did break in some doors where people were not responding.
A resident of the apartment building that I talked too said she was awakened by pounding on her door. Her apartment was about half way down the building ont eh first floor. She said the building has 20 units with all but one currently occupied.
Another resident I talked to said he is hard of hearing, but eventually became aware of noise. As he went out to investigate, someone was at his door.
Red Cross was on the scene to assist the residents of the building.
Here is some video followed by more photos.