Several agencies investigating deadly Waunakee apartment fire - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Several agencies investigating deadly Waunakee apartment fire

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WAUNAKEE (WKOW) -- Authorities surrounded an apartment complex on the 400 block of O'Malley Street in Waunakee Thursday. They were able to see the damage in the light, left behind by a fire police say killed a 56-year-old woman and sent a 65-year-old to the hospital Wednesday evening.

"This is a 16 unit building. Initially, they were afraid that there may be more fatalities so its not unusual that those additional resources would be brought in," Dane County Sheriff's Office Spokeswoman Elise Schaffer says.

Those additional resources include the state's Division of Criminal investigation and the ATF. Authorities have yet to release a cause but the Sheriff's Office says the apartment where the fire started is a total loss and other apartments were affected by severe smoke. An early damage estimate is $100,000 dollars.

Schaffer says 10 to 15 residents were evacuated during the fire. Some of the displaced residents didn't have anywhere to go, that's why two local churches stepped in to make sure they had a warm place to sleep through the night.

"A lot of the folks who live in that apartment complex are people who are handicapped or have special needs, or the elderly and some difficulty getting around so we knew that was going to be a concern for some people," Monsignor James Gunn of Waunakee's St. John the Baptist Church says. He was on the scene Wednesday night. His church, along with Peace Lutheran Church put five people up at a local motel.

"Many of them had been awoken from their sleep and some of them can't get around and of course the noise and the alarms and all sorts of things going off. So that was pretty traumatic, but I think people were having a real sense of calm because people were taking care of them," Gunn says.

The Red Cross is also assisting as a time residents may be able to return home is still unknown.

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WAUNAKEE (WKOW) -- The Dane County Sheriff's office says that a 56-year-old woman was killed in an apartment fire in Waunakee Wednesday evening. Another resident was taken to the hospital but is expected to be okay.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office, Waunakee Police, the Department of Criminal Investigation and the ATF are investigating the fire.

Crews were called to the 16-unit apartment building on the 400 block of O'Malley Street just after 8:00 p.m. Wednesday. The building was fully engulfed in flames when they arrived.

Authorities say 10 to 15 residents were evacuated and are staying with relatives or at a hotel provided by a local church. The apartment where the fire started is a total loss, the Sheriff's Office says. Investigators believe the building sustained $100,000 in damage.

Information about the cause of the fire will be released once the investigation is finished.

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