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Fire destroys garage, truck

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Fire destroyed a garage and a truck and damaged two nearby garages in the 1000 block of 70th Street Wednesday.

No one was injured in the fire that was reported at 3:50 p.m., according to Kenosha Fire Department Battalion Chief Wes Bernhardt.

From at least a half mile away, thick black smoke could be seen billowing from the neighborhood between Sheridan Road and Ninth Avenue. A family of five stood on the sidewalk as a neighbor comforted them outside their home at 1000 70th St.

“It involved a detached garage and a vehicle in the back of the home,” said Bernhardt. “It looked like the fire originated between the rear of the garage and the front of the vehicle. They were both fully involved in flames when we arrived at the scene.”

Bernhardt said the cause of the fire has yet to be determined and remains under investigation. Damage to the vehicle and the garage was estimated at about $15,000. No vehicles were parked inside the structure; however, household appliances and personal belongings stored there were also destroyed.

“Both the vehicle and the garage were a total loss,” he said.

In addition, a fence to the east of the structure had severe damage as a result of the fire, and garages to the east and west of the scene, about 15 to 20 feet away on either side, also had damage.

“Those two structures had no flame damage, but vinyl siding was melted away,” he said.

No one hurt

Firefighters arrived on the scene about four minutes after the call came, he said. Within 10 minutes the fire was under control, but firefighters stayed on scene about two hours for scene investigation.

“The (residents) had already exited the home, and no one was injured,” he said. The home, which was 25 feet away from the burning garage, also had no damage.

“We were able to keep it from spreading anywhere further,” he said. “We were able to get at its south and north sides.”

The department received mutual aid assistance from Somers, Pleasant Prairie, Zion (Ill.), Winthrop Harbor (Ill.), Salem Lakes, South Shore and Bristol fire departments.

A neighbor who was comforting the family said she did not know there was a fire until firefighters arrived at the scene.

Melissa Seel, who said she has known the family for several years, said she was checking to see if they needed anything.

A woman who lives at the home but declined to give her name said they evacuated after someone knocked on their door to alert them of the fire.

“I said, ‘This isn’t a prank, is it?’,” said the woman.

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