Friday, August 15, 2014 - 10:21am
Fourteen homes on and around Apollo Way, suffered heat damage as a result from Friday’s fire. The fire could have turned into a large conflagration, but firefighters prevented a major and costly disaster by protecting many homes. Crews used handlines to wet down the homes to keep them from igniting. In firefighting, this is called protecting the exposures.
911 Communications Center dispatched City of Madison Fire Crews at 7:38 pm. Medic 5 was first to arrive in 5 minutes. 2 seconds later, Engine 5 and Engine 13 arrived simultaneously. If the first due engines were further away, the exposures could have been compromised or on fire when firefighters arrived at the scene. The location of the fire stations, which includes new Fire Station #13, and quick response by firefighters played a vital role in the initial attack of the fire and protection of exposures.
The radiant heat from the fire was so intense that firefighter air packs were hot to the touch, fire gear started to melt and fire engine tires were smoking. Fire Engine 13 Apparatus Engineer said as he was pulling up to the scene, he could feel the heat through the windshield of the fire engine, 100 feet away. Engine 5 had to quickly reposition their rig, because parts of the engine began to melt and an upper window cracked.
Firefighters used water towers on the tip of the aerial ladders and deck guns on top of the fire engines to extinguish the 105-unit apartment complex inferno. As firefighters were fighting the fire and protecting exposures, crews would keep fellow firefighters from the extreme heat by wetting them down with hose lines. This powerful fire would burn any exposed skin if not covered.
Commuters on the interstate could feel the heat as they drove past the firestorm. Blooming Grove Fire Department assisted the City of Madison Fire Department by extinguishing burning debris and grass fires along the Interstate 90.
Protecting life and property and minimizing damage and injury was accomplished on this impressive fire.
The fire occurred in the 500 block of Apollo Way on Friday, August 8. The 105-unit apartment complex, which was under construction, was heavily involved with fire when the Madison Fire Department arrived.
The Grandview Commons complex is a total loss and is estimated at $3.5 to 5 million.
The fire is under investigation.
- Bernadette Galvez, 608-279-7168, email@example.com