Four Escape Duplex Fire
Friday, November 7, 2008 - 3:10am
A mother and three children escaped a fire in their duplex last night. City of Madison firefighters were called to 8 Corona Ct. shortly after 8:00 p.m. for a report of a structure fire.
Upon arrival, firefighters observed orange flames through a front window. The family had already evacuated the home without injury. Firefighters made entry through the front door of the residence and were met with heavy smoke.
The woman who lived there told firefighters she had been cooking on the stove and went downstairs to attend to the children. When she came back to the kitchen, she could see flames on the stove and up the wall behind the stove. She attempted to put the fire out with a home extinguisher, but was unsuccessful. At that point, she and the children left the home. Fire investigators remained on the scene to complete the investigation.
Damage to the home and its contents is estimated at $75,000. The adjoining unit was not damaged. The family has no renters insurance.
The City of Madison Fire Department reminds residents that unattended cooking remains a leading cause of home fires.
A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the number one priority for residents is to get out safely.
• Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.
• To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you, and release the locking mechanism.
- Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
- Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.
• Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out.
• Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. Know when to go.
Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Every household should have a home fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.
- Lori Wirth, 608-266-5947