The fire broke out about 5:11 a.m. on Friday in an apartment building in the village of Hartland, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee.
At least seven people were killed in an early morning fire on Friday in a four-family apartment building in a suburb of Milwaukee, the authorities said.
It broke out at about 5:11 a.m. in the village of Hartland, Wisconsin, Chief Torin J. Misko of the Hartland Police Department said at a news conference. Hartland has about 9,500 residents and is about 27 miles west of Milwaukee.
“This is an active criminal investigation by the Hartland Police Department,” Chief Misko said. It was not clear what caused the fire or where it originated in the building.
Firefighters and police who arrived at the scene encountered what Chief Misko described as “a large amount of fire,” and rescued people from the apartment building and balconies.
He did not know the ages of the victims or whether they lived in a particular unit.
“This is a tragic incident for the community and the first responders involved,’’ Chief Misko said.
Fifteen fire departments and nine police departments assisted at the scene. The State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating the fire with the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office, the Wisconsin Crime Laboratories and the Hartland Police and Fire Departments, Chief Misko said.
The American Red Cross of Wisconsin said it was helping three families that were displaced by the fire.