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GREENFIELD — Fire investigators are looking into the cause of the blaze that ripped through a 40-unit apartment building, trapping people on second- and third-floor balconies with smoke pouring out behind them.

The fire occurred about 6:44 a.m. Monday, Feb. 13, on 100th Street near Oklahoma Avenue.

One occupant jumped from a balcony, but did not need to be taken to a hospital, fire officials said. The building caretaker helped another resident off a balcony. Those on third-floor balconies were rescued by Greenfield firefighters using ladders. There were no injuries.

Greenfield police and building residents banged on apartment doors warning residents of the fire and that they needed to get out. As they ran up and down the halls, fire alarms sounded.

Of the 40 apartments, eight were extensively damaged by fire, smoke and water.  Four had light to moderate damage and  28 had little to no damage, Assistant Fire Chief George Weber said. There is no damage estimate at this time.

The Southeast Chapter of the American Red Cross assisted residents on scene who were displaced.

Knowing that people were trapped, Greenfield  immediately requested help from other fire departments.  Firefighters from Hales Corners, Greendale, Milwaukee, Oak Creek and West Allis assisted on scene.  Wauwatosa and North Shore Fire covered Greenfield fire stations.

Weber said the blaze is a reminder for residents to make sure their homes have working smoke detectors and that they have a fire escape plan that they practice.

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