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Kenosha fire chief says damage costs from unrest top $11 million

“That’s three years of fire loss for us in the span of about a week,” Fire Chief Charles Leipzig said.

People pass by what used to be B&L Office Furniture, Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 25, 2020. The store was set on fire following the shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha days before.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

KENOSHA, Wis. — Kenosha’s fire chief says damage from the unrest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake has now topped $11 million.

Fire Chief Charles Leipzig told the Police and Fire Commission Tuesday that the record fire loss came in the days following the Aug. 23 shooting of Blake, a 29-year-old Black man who was left partially paralyzed after a white officer shot him seven times in the back.

“To put into context, that’s three years of fire loss for us in the span of about a week,” Leipzig told commissioners, the Kenosha News reported.

The shooting, which was recorded on video, sparked protests and violence in Kenosha, where roughly two dozen fires were set and numerous businesses were destroyed.

Prosecutors say 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse of Antioch, Illinois, shot three demonstrators, killing two of them, during a chaotic protest Aug. 25.