A blaze broke out at a Roscoe self storage facility on Tuesday. Black smoke was visible miles away as Stateline Self Storage went up in flames. One man was hurt. Witnesses who assisted the victim say that while he was conscious, he was also badly burned.
“My son yells ‘the building is on fire!'” said Stateline Storage Units Owner Vic Anucauskas.
Harlem-Roscoe Fire Chief Donald Shoevlin says they were first told cars at a dealership on North Second Street were on fire but saw differently as they arrived.
“In the front three sections, it looks like a storage unit,” said Shoevlin. “It did penetrate through the roof at that time, we had heavy black smoke.”
A cause for the fire is still under investigation. But the Chief says a helicopter was used to airlift one victim.
“We do have one individual that is injured, they were flown out of here to UW-Madison Hospital with burn injuries. I don’t know the extent.”
One witness working nearby rushed to the injured victim’s side. She says he tried explaining how the fire started.
“He had apparently been dealing with some gasoline and had tipped it over,” said Shari Ellis, “I’m not sure what the ignition source was but he had said he had kicked the container out of his way and that’s when his hands engulfed.”
Ellis says although he seemed to be breathing just fine, the injuries on his body showed just how intense the fire must have been.
“His hair was burned off, his mustache, his eyelashes. And he was burned pretty much in the arms, his hands, his torso was fairly burned.”
“Apparently, he had to jump through the fire to get out of the building. He was going in to shock and he was very afraid. He kept saying ‘I’m afraid’.”
Stateline Storage Units Owner Vic Anucauskas says the burned building is the least of his concerns.
“Buildings can be replaced, the gentleman that was in the building. You know, I’m more concerned about him.”
The victim’s current condition has not been released. No official cause for the fire has been determined, but according to witnesses, it appears to be accidental.