Abandoned Building Catches Fire on West Side

Sunday, March 20, 2011 - 3:28am

An abandoned building on the West side of Madison caught fire early Sunday morning.
The blaze broke out just before 5 a.m. on the 500 block of Highland Avenue, between Lombardino's and the Campus Drive bridge. A passerby called 911 Communications Center to report the fire. When firefighters arrived, they saw light smoke coming from the top of the building. Once they deemed the building safe to enter, firefighters extinguished the blaze within 44 minutes.
The structure is a two-story brick building and was scheduled for demolition.
Damage estimates are still being tallied.
No one was injured.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
* * *
Calling 911 Effectively

Calling 911 is very stressful and it's easy to feel overwhelmed. 911 call-takers are trained to guide callers through the experience, but knowing what to expect can help make the 911 call go smoothly and get emergency help where and when it's needed. Know the difference between calling 911 from a landline phone and calling 911 on a cell phone.
1. Stay calm. It's important to take a deep breath and not get excited. Any situation that requires 911 is, by definition, an emergency. The dispatcher or call-taker knows that and will try to move things along quickly, but under control.
2. Know the location of the emergency and the number you are calling from. This may be asked and answered a couple of times but don't get frustrated. Even though many 911 centers have enhanced capabilities meaning they are able to see your location on the computer screen they are still required to confirm the information. If for some reason you are disconnected, at least emergency crews will know where to go and how to call you back. As the call progresses, you will hear clicking - do not hang up!
3. Wait for the call-taker to ask questions, then answer clearly and calmly. If you are in danger of assault, the dispatcher or call-taker will still need you to answer quietly, mostly "yes" and "no" questions.
4. Let the call-taker guide the conversation. He or she is typing the information into a computer and may seem to be taking forever. There's a good chance, however, that emergency services are already being sent while you are still on the line.
5. Follow all directions. In some cases, the call-taker will give you directions. Listen carefully, follow each step exactly, and ask for clarification if you don't understand.
6. Keep your eyes open. You may be asked to describe victims, suspects, vehicles, or other parts of the scene.
7. Do not hang up the call until directed to do so by the call-taker.

  • Bernadette Galvez, (608) 261-9844