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Fire destroys businesses and apartments in Tomah

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TOMAH, Wis. (WXOW) - Dimensions bar, the Artisan Market and apartments above the building are a total loss after a structure fire early Sunday morning.

The City of Tomah Fire Department Chief Tim Adler said firefighters responded at 4:53 a.m. to 20ft flames blowing through the roof.

Superior Avenue remained closed throughout the day as firefighters from Tomah and surrounding communities rescued residents and put out the flames.

One person who lived in one of the two apartments above Dimensions was taken to Tomah Health.

"When we got on the scene he was hanging out of the window on the second floor and that's where we got him out," Fire Chief Adler said. "When you get these downtown fires like this it's every fire chief's nightmare because it's easy to spread from one building to another just due to the fact that the fire stops weren't in place many years ago like they are today."

People living in apartments on the block and behind the building were displaced due to the sizable flames and smoke damage.

"I can't think of a more awful storm to come together right now," Tomah Chamber and Visitors Center President and CEO Tina Thompson said. "Certainly we're praying for all of the residents and the businesses that have been affected. Take help where you can find it. We'll be doing what we can to share information as soon as it comes across to us."

The Red Cross is helping assist in temporary housing for the displaced residents.

Thompson said people can drop off food, clothing and other donations at the Tomah Chamber and Visitors Center starting at 8 a.m. Monday morning.

Fire Chief Adler said Superior Avenue should be open to traffic Monday but that parking on the east side near Dimensions will remain closed.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Marcus Aarsvold

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