Man dies in Sheboygan apartment fire

CREATED Apr. 30, 2013 - UPDATED: Apr. 30, 2013

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  • Video by wtmj.com

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  • Video by wtmj.com

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  • Photo: Ben Olson

  • Photo: Ben Olson

  • Photo: Ben Olson

  • Photo: Ben Olson

SHEBOYGAN - A fire has claimed the life of a man in Sheboygan.

The Sheboygan Fire Department says that Randi Hein, 51, lived on the lower level.  He died in that fire.

TODAY'S TMJ4's Nick Montes reports that Hein was found in the apartment's living room.

According to the fire chief, the man was burned beyond recognition.

Sheboygan Fire Assistant Chief Vernon Koch said that when firefighters arrived on scene, they discovered heavy smoke coming through a window, and they couldn't get through the first floor.

Fire crews had to rescue people through second floor windows.

22 people live in the 16-unit complex.  The fire station happened to be down the street, and firefighters arrived within two minutes.

It still wasn't enough time to save Hein.

"This is the closest I've ever been involved in something like this," said Grant Renzlelmann, who lives nearby. 

He and his father Paul said they couldn't believe fire ripped through the apartment, and it could have spread to theirs.

"We're in the apartment one up and one north, so we're almost right above it," Paul told Nick.

Paul woke up Grant after hearing the fire alarms go off.

"I threw on a sweatshirt and booked it out of there pretty quick.  The hallway was filled with smoke when we walked out already," said Grant.

One person had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Sheboygan Police tell 620WTMJ's Michelle Richards that the fire is out at this hour, but investigators were still on the scene.