Firefighters fight house fire in Whitewater

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Gazette staff
January 23, 2015

WHITEWATER—Firefighters fought a house fire on South Cottage Street on Friday morning. No one was reported injured.

The house was empty; residents were out of town and were accounted for, according to a Whitewater Fire Department news release.

The release did not describe how long it took to extinguish the fire in the two-story house.

Fire officials estimate a building loss of $150,000 and property loss of $100,000.

A passerby alerted authorities at 8:54 a.m. to the fire at 267 S. Cottage St.

The fire is believed to have started in the basement and quickly spread to the first and second floors, the news release states. The cause was not released.

Heavy smoke and the “integrity” of the structure hampered firefighting efforts, as the first and second floors were “compromised,” the news release states.

Whitewater asked for mutual aid from surrounding fire departments as far away as Beloit, Janesville, Palmyra and Helenville. Sixteen departments responded.

Some departments did not respond because so many of their volunteer firefighters were working out of town and unavailable, according to the news release.

“Finding members who are able to respond outside their own communities is sometimes a challenge,” the news release stated.

The fire sent large clouds of smoke into the air, according to a Gazette photographer at the scene.

The fire appeared to be out momentarily but then rekindled, the photographer said.

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