Point of Origin Released for Gilman Street Fire

June 8, 2012

Fire investigators have determined that Monday morning's fire at 11 W. Gilman Street originated in the area of a dehumidifier in the basement of the apartment. An exact cause for the fire cannot be determined without further analysis by an electrical engineer.

The fire was reported at 3:04 a.m. and firefighters used a ladder to rescue a woman from a second floor window. She was awakened by the smoke alarms in her apartment and heavy smoke blocked her escape path. The resident went to a window and called 911. The communicator at the 911 Center directed her to close the bedroom door to keep the smoke and heat out of the room.

Firefighters quickly extinguished the basement fire, searched the three-unit building for occupants, and ventilated smoke from the building.

Two occupants of an adjacent apartment heard the smoke alarms and escaped without any injuries. Fire and smoke damage was limited to the apartment where the fire originated. Damages are estimated at $50,000.

City of Madison Firefighters credit several factors for this successful rescue including:
• Functioning smoke alarms that meet the city's ordinance warned the occupants of the fire.
• 911 Center communicators provided instructions to close the door. This simple act stopped the smoke and heat from entering the bedroom and protected the occupant.
• Firefighters arrived within four minutes to make a quick rescue and extinguish the fire.

Note for media: The firefighters who performed this rescue are available today for interviews. Also, the woman who was rescued from the window is willing to speak with the media. Please contact Eric for more information.

Contact:
  • Eric Dahl, 608-261-9845