Tuesday, October 26, 2010 - 11:18am
City of Madison fire investigators believe a fire last week in a second-floor apartment at 1714 Vahlen St. was caused when cats in the apartment knocked over a lamp into a pile of books, bedding and clothing in a rear bedroom.
The occupant of the apartment left the building and called 911. No one else was home at the 3-unit residence when the fire occurred. The cats were missing for a time, but firefighters found them later and reunited them with their owner.
Crews contained the fire damage to the 2nd floor apartment. There was significant fire damage at the rear of the apartment and smoke damage throughout. The two apartments on the first floor had minimal damage.
Damages from the fire are estimated at $75,000.
The City of Madison Fire Department reminds residents:
•Keeping your home clear of clutter isn't simply a housekeeping issue.
•Clutter makes rescue and firefighting operations more difficult.
•Clutter creates a fire hazard.
•Some of the most common types of clutter that pile up in homes are reading materials like newspapers and magazines that are collected by occupants. If a fire occurs in this environment, the clutter will fuel the flames causing rapid expansion throughout the structure and making it difficult for occupants to escape.
•Take time to consider your clutter placement and make your home safer.
•Make a habit of getting rid of items you really don't use or don't plan on using
•Walk around your home and ask yourself if you would be able to get out easily in the event of an emergency.
•Make a point of creating a clear path to safety from anywhere in your home - that will ensure a clear path for firefighters as well.
- Lori Wirth, (608) 266-5947