Apartment Fire Caused by Unattended Cooking - Updated
Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 6:59am
City of Madison Fire Investigators have determined that unattended cooking is the cause of this morning's fire at 1611 Wright Street on the City's northeast side.
Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 9:54 a.m. They arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the two-story townhouse unit. The building houses two separate units.
Smoke alarms did sound and occupants of both units had evacuated when firefighters arrived.
There were three people in the apartment where the fire began, but seven people live at that address, several of them are children who were in school at the time.
Firefighters used an aggressive fire attack to knock down the fire within 10 minutes of their arrival.
A damage estimate has been set at $75,000.
The American Red Cross Badger Chapter is assisting the family. The family has no renters' insurance.
The City of Madison Fire Department reminds residents:
• Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires (150,200 annually) and home fire injuries.
• Be on alert! Don't cook if you are sleepy.
• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave, turn off the stove.
• If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
• Keep anything that can catch fire - oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains - away from your stovetop.
• Never use the stove or oven for storage.
If you have a cooking fire:
• Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
• Call 9-1-1 after you leave.
• If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
• Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
• For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
Renters should have renters' insurance - the landlord's insurance on the building does not cover your personal property.
- Lori Wirth, 608-266-5947