An apartment building in Tomah is uninhabitable after a fire broke out Sunday.
Tomah Fire Department Chief Tim Adler said 32 firefighters were on the scene for nearly three hours at the building located at 1315 Butts Ave. He said the American Red Cross was called to assist the eight people who were living in the four units damaged by the fire.
No injuries were reported.
Firefighters were dispatched to the multi-family structure shortly after 2:30 p.m. When they arrived, heavy flames were coming from the northwest corner of the building, which was being evacuated as fire crews were responding to the scene.
Adler said firefighters "made an interior attack through the front door" but were forced back outside due to the heat and flames coming through the roof. He said firefighters then "went into a defensive mode" and used the department’s ladder truck to extinguish flames coming through the roof of the structure.
Multiple other hand lines were deployed to protect the adjacent structures, Adler said, and fire crews were able to get the blaze under control within 45 minutes. The building sustained significant smoke and water damage.
Adler called the Oakdale Fire Department to be on standby in case there was another fire in the city. He said most of the department's personnel and equipment were at the scene.
Adler said a cat was found alive at the scene and was given air by the department's pet rescue kit. The cat was then taken to Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter in Tomah.
The fire department was assisted at the scene by the Tomah Police Department, Tomah Area Ambulance Service and Tomah Water Department.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Adler said.