Fire Investigation Begins

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 3:02am

As of 7:00 a.m. today, City of Madison firefighters have left the scene of last night's fire at 900 John Nolen Dr., and fire investigators have taken over the fire ground to begin work on determining a cause and origin of the 3-alarm blaze.

The MFD maintained an overnight fire watch at the scene, dousing flames from hot spots until 4:00 this morning.

Firefighters were dispatched just before 4:00 p.m. Tuesday after the building manager reported smoke near her office at the rear of the 2-story office building. Firefighters arrived to find smoke already spreading through the first floor.

Occupants evacuated safely. Firefighters conducted a thorough search of the building to ensure no one was left inside.

The fire quickly went to two alarms as firefighters fought through heavy smoke to determine the fire's location. Crews traced it to a crawl space underneath the first floor, accessible only by a 2' x 2' hatch. By that time, fire and smoke had spread, collapsing the floor and blocking that side of the building as a point of entry.

The Causeway Centre Office Building is a 2-story wood frame, triangular shaped office building, constructed on a crawl space. There are multiple businesses housed in the structure.

The first call came in at 3:58 p.m. Ladder Company 6 was the first unit on location. The apparatus remained in place until this morning, with fresh crews brought in for the overnight watch.

The units on the initial call were Ladder 6, Ladder 1, Engine 4, Engine 3, Engine 9, and Engine 1 (E1's crew was returning from SCUBA training). The fire ground operations were directed from the Department's Command Car (C31), and Medic 6 was on scene for any medical needs. No one was treated at the scene or transported.

A second alarm was called at 4:22, with six more Madison units responding, followed by units from Fitchburg and the Town of Madison.

The call went to three alarms with the request for additional ladder trucks from Monona and McFarland.

No damage estimate is available, but the building has significant structural damage. There was no damage to neighboring buildings.

  • Lori Wirth, (608) 266-5947