GREEN BAY, Wis. (WTAQ) - Investigators haven't ruled anything out in trying to find the cause of a massive west side Green Bay fire Friday.
“The fire did progress rapidly,” Chris Heil, Captain of the Green Bay Fire Marshal’s Office told FOX 11. “It could be the age of the building, contents, belongings, whatever was in there. That's one of the things we need to figure out.”
The blaze destroyed Super Saver liquor store and Onyx clothing store on the first level of the building and 8 apartment units above on Walunt Street. It left 7 children and 9 adults without a home.
Two people were injured in the fire. One of them lived in the apartment and had to be taken to Milwaukee for burn treatment. The other was a firefighter who was treated at St. Vincent Hospital.
At one point the blaze at the intersection of Walnut and Chestnut had the attention of more than 60 firefighters and every fire truck in the city. It took more than 16 hours for the final truck to leave on Saturday morning.
“When I got here the whole building was engulfed with flames,” Herm Thomas, owner of Onyx, told FOX 11.
Thomas says his business is insured, but estimates the damage to his business is about $80,000.
“I was kind of devastated that we had lost our business, but I was happy to hear that everybody was okay that lived upstairs,” said Thomas.
The owner of the building, May Vang, says the fire started in a unit where the tenant was supposed to move out Friday because he wasn't able to pay October's rent. The building is estimated to be worth $650,000 and is considered a total loss.
The Red Cross set up a warming shelter for the people left homeless from the fire at St. Willebrord Church. It gave money for food, clothes and other essentials. It also helped put three families in hotels for the weekend. The other two families displaced are staying with relatives.