House Fire Displaces Family of 4

Tuesday, January 26, 2010 - 1:17pm

City of Madison firefighters remain at the scene of a house fire on Madison's northeast side. Firefighters were dispatched to 1734 Winchester St. today at 3:45 p.m. Engine Company 10 arrived first to find heavy smoke from the basement windows and flames coming from the side of the house. The crew entered through the front door and reported smoke banked to the floor with zero visibility. Crews were unable to get to the second floor of the home and firefighters adopted a defensive strategy - fighting the fire from the exterior.

Only one person was home at the time of the fire. She escaped without injury and took refuge at a neighbor's house, where she was joined by the rest of her family.

Firefighters battled the fire for an hour before knockdown. Most of the second story was engulfed in flames, but firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to homes on either side.

The lengthy fire attack resulted in several feet of water in the basement and slippery conditions for firefighters in the frigid temperatures. One firefighter was treated and transported for an ankle injury.

Fire investigators have interviewed witnesses and will beginning sifting through the scene tomorrow. For now, the structural integrity of the two-story home is in question. Investigators anticipate the house will be a total loss and estimate damages to the house and contents at $250,000.

An engine company will maintain a fire watch overnight to be on scene in the event of a re-kindle.

  • Lori Wirth, 608-266-5947