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Five-alarm fire in downtown Fond du Lac

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Five-alarm fire in downtown Fond du Lac

By Melissa McCrady and Jay Sorgi. CREATED Apr 3, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr 3, 2012

Click on a video link at the left to see raw video from the fire scene.

FOND DU LAC - Crews from several fire departments spent Tuesday morning battling a five-alarm fire in downtown Fond du Lac.

One man who lives in the building that was ablaze has been hospitalized after suffering smoke inhalation and third-degree burns.  Crews took him to Columbia St. Mary's Burn Center in Milwaukee.

"The flames were shooting out of the building when I got here," said building owner Jo Stanley.

A Fond du Lac Fire Department supervisor told Newsradio 620 WTMJ that the fire began at about 2 a.m. in Stanley's three-story commercial building that also had an apartment on the corner of 1st and Main in Fond du Lac.

"The call came in and I believe it was he who was calling that he had a possible couch fire in his apartment," said Tom Wendt of the Fond du Lac Fire Department.

Crews were still battling the fire at about 6:20 a.m.

The supervisor said that the fire apparently started on the second floor of the building, spread to other areas but was contained before it reached other buildings.

Neighboring buildings took on water damage and some smoke.

TODAY'S TMJ4's Melissa McCrady reports that a man called to report his couch had caught fire.

It appeared that when the fire started, he was the only person inside the building.

Stanley said her 52-year-old employee and friend lives alone in the apartment.

"He said he woke up choking and couldn't see.  He was yelling for help, and (authorities) found him in a stair well, so they got him out, I think, before the fire department even got here."

At the peak of the fire, about 100 firefighters were at the scene to assist.