UPDATE: Duplex fire causes $60,000 damage

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Shelly Birkelo
Tuesday, March 18, 2014

JANESVILLE—Two families were displaced after a fire caused $60,000 damage early Tuesday morning, said Scott Running, Janesville Fire Department shift commander.

The fire was reported at 5:29 a.m. at a duplex at 120 Linn St. and 904 McKinley Ave. by neighbors who live across the street, he said.

“They saw flames on the outside of the building, called 911 and went across the street and began alerting residents,” Running said.

The two-story structure has an upper and lower unit, Running said.

The fire started outside the upstairs window ledge where the porch roofline meets the siding. Smoking materials that were not fully out and probably smoldered all night were believed to be the cause, he said.

“There was no other source of ignition,” Running said.

Lower unit occupants included a husband and wife with four children between ages 2 and 8. Two men and a woman were in the upper unit.

“Everybody was out safely by the time we got there,” Running said.

The family is staying with relatives, and the American Red Cross is seeking a place for the three adults, he said.

Running estimated damage to the structure at $50,000 and contents at another $10,000.

“Most of the damage was to the exterior wall adjacent to the upstairs kitchen,” he said.

Nobody was injured. Two cats, suspected to be hiding, remain missing.

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