UPDATE: Sorority house fire displaces 23 students - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Sorority house fire displaces 23 students

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Photo courtesy: Pam Brotzman Photo courtesy: Pam Brotzman
WHITEWATER (WKOW)—A fire displaced nearly two dozen college students Friday morning.

It happened around 10:40 am at the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority house. The Whitewater Fire Department put out a mutual aid request to surrounding towns to assist with the fire. In total six departments responded.

“We did this as a precautionary measure being that we had possibly people trapped when we received the initial call,” said Captain Joe Uselding, with the Whitewater Fire Department.

When firefighters arrived on scene they split in to two teams- one attacked the fire, the other searched the house to make sure no one was inside.

“We don't necessarily have somebody that can say yes, everybody's out, everyone is standing next to me,” Cpt. Uselding said. “Especially with varying schedules, we've got spring break next week, everyone's coming or going, it's definitely hard for us to tell everybody's out until we've done a room by room search.”

It's unclear how many of the 25 girls were home at the time but everyone did make made it out safely. One person suffered minor injuries. The house, however, has significant damage.

“We believe the fire started in a first floor bed room,” Cpt. Uselding said. “It was approximately three rooms that were heavily damaged, but the rest of the house also had smoke damage throughout.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Meanwhile The university gathered the Tri-Sigma members at Heide Hall, where they offered counseling services and temporary housing. The women will be allowed in the house briefly on Saturday to collect their belongings. It's unclear when the residence will be livable.
WHITEWATER (WKOW) -- Crews were called to Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority house near UW-Whitewater's campus Friday morning.

The call came in around 10:45 a.m. and crews had it out within 30 minutes.  The house sustained smoke and water damage, and displaced 23 students.  All of the sorority members living in the house are safe and accounted for.  One minor injury was reported.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Housing for those displaced will be provided by the Office of Residence Life.  The Office of Academic Affairs is working with instructors to accommodate those who missed exams or coursework due to this incident.  Counseling services are also being made available.

WHITEWATER (WKOW) -- Whitewater police confirm a fire at a sorority house near the UW-Whitewater campus.

Crews responded to a 2-alarm fire at the Sigma Sigma Sigma house shortly after 11:00 Friday morning. The house is at 619 W. main Street in Whitewater.

WISN ABC 12 in Milwaukee reports there at six apartments in the house and cites dispatch as saying there are no reports of injuries at this time.

Stay with 27 News for updates.

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