MADISON, Wis. -

More than two dozen people were forced from their homes early Wednesday morning following a fire at a housing cooperative near the UW campus.

Firefighters were called to the co-op in the 200 block of West Lakelawn Place just after 1 a.m. Wednesday.

When they arrived, flames were shooting through the roof of the building. Firefighters quickly brought hoses into the building to knock down the fire.

Volunteers are staffing the West High School gym for residents of the apartment building.

The fire department said smoke detectors likely alerted the 34 people living in the building to evacuate. No one was injured in the fire, but given the level of damage parts of the building are unlivable.

Volunteers at West High School expect seven to 15 people will stay the night in the school gym.

“They get tired. They’re stressed and they want someplace to lie down, relax, forget about things, have a sandwich, and have a fan blow on them. So we have that for them,” said Mary Gagnon with the Red Cross.

Investigators think the fire started outside before it moved into the apartment building. The fire destroyed the electrical system, and did another $125,000 in damage.

244 West Lakelawn Place

244 West Lakelawn Place