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UPDATE: Fire Causes $300K Damage; Displaces Couple

A Brookfield couple got out of the Phoenix Avenue house safely but a fire caused major damage as it spread through the attic and roof.

UPDATE (2:30 p.m. Monday): A fire caused an estimated $300,000 in damage to a Phoenix Avenue home, after flames spread through the attic and roof, fire officials said Monday.

When the first Brookfield fire crews arrived and saw the extent of the flames in the roof, they struck a second alarm withthe MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System). Crews came to assist from the Town of Brookfield, Elm Grove, Wauwatosa, Butler, Pewaukee, West Allis, New Berlin, Menomonee Falls, Lisbon, City of Waukesha and Sussex.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation Monday.

The Brookfield homeowners were being helped by the Red Cross.

Fire crews were called to the home at 15105 Phoenix Avenue about 6:50 p.m., Police Sgt. Jason Pfeiffer said.

The blaze appeared to start in the bathroom and spread to the attic, sending flames neighbors said were 10 to 30 feet tall and prompting Brookfield fire crews to call for more mutual aid.

Pfeiffer said firefighters were "fighting some spot fires in the attic."

The couple who lives there were able to get out safely but were being assisted by the American Red Cross of Southeastern Wisconsin.

Three disaster teams were assisting the couple with a "hotel, hygiene items, clothing, food, hugs." the Red Cross said via Twitter. The couple had an RV that they moved across the street away from the fire, a neighbor said.

Crews on ladder trucks were dousing the attic with water, and heavy smoke filled the air.

Jake Saunders, a Utah firefighter, was among about 20 relatives preparing to take a family portrait in a backyard nearby when they started seeing fire trucks responding.

"You could see flames through the trees," he said. "You could see the orange glow."

Maryanne Ramthum said the the smoke billowed over the tall trees.

Neighbor Bill Sankey said flames were 10 to 15 feet high. Officers strung yellow police tape across Sankey's backyard and others near Edgewood to keep bystanders away from the firefighting operations.
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