Janesville54.2°

Fire destroys Golden Acres apartment

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ANN MARIE AMES
June 9, 2011
— One apartment was destroyed and a building evacuated after a fire Wednesday morning on Janesville's east side.

The fire at Golden Acres Apartments, 1601 N. Randall Ave., Janesville, started on a stovetop in apartment No. 11, which is on the first floor in the southeast corner of the complex.


According to Janesville Fire Department Shift Commander Bill Ruchti, papers and other combustibles were on top of the stove, which was turned on.


The fire was reported at 9:38 a.m. A department fire inspector happened to be driving by when the fire was dispatched, Ruchti said.


The inspector immediately entered the building, pulled the manual alarm and started evacuating residents from the building, he said.


Golden Acres resident Richard Woodliff was standing on the sidewalk in his stocking feet at 10 a.m. Other small groups of residents, many still in their pajamas, stood watching firefighters along Randall Avenue.


Woodliff lives in apartment No. 9 and was asleep when a firefighter knocked.


As soon as he woke up, he was surprised at how strong the smell of smoke was in his apartment.


The walls between apartments in Golden Acres are so thick it's normally impossible to hear anyone in the hallway, he said.


"Boy, I could really smell it," Woodliff said.


Apartment No. 11 was destroyed in the fire, Ruchti said. The Red Cross will assist the resident, but the rest of the apartments are habitable, he said.


One resident was transported to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Janesville, to be treated for smoke inhalation, he said.


Damage is estimated at $40,000 to the building and $10,000 to contents, Ruchti said.



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