Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 7:48am
Two City of Madison chickens successfully implemented their coop escape plan last night after a fire threatened their home at 218 Oak St. The coop was located on the exterior of a single-car garage at that address.
City of Madison firefighters responded to the fire after a witness saw the fire from a Walgreen's parking lot and called 911 just before 7 p.m.
Ladder 8, Engine 8 and Medic 8 arrived on scene to find heavy flames and smoke showing from the rear of the garage. The garage was set back from the house so there were no exposure concerns. Crews had the fire under control within minutes of their arrival. Damages are estimated at $20,000.
The fire was burning inside and on the exterior of the garage in the rear corner. The owner was not home, and there was no car in the garage at the time of the fire, which appeared to have started from the outside of the garage.
Firefighters noted two extension cords running from the rear of the main house connected to a heater lamp for the chickens. The heater lamp was on a timer. The water bowl also had a heater.
The two chickens beat a hasty retreat as soon as firefighters opened the gate to fight the fire. One returned home this morning. The other is still missing.
The City of Madison Fire Department reminds residents:
•Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, in each bedroom, and outside each bedroom.
•Test your smoke alarms every month.
•Make an escape plan and have a fire drill to practice your plan.
•When the alarm sounds, get out and stay out.
•After you have escaped, call 9-1-1 from a safe place.
•Never go back inside the building for any reason.
- Lori Wirth, (608) 266-5947