Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 1:43am
Ten people escaped injury at an early morning fire in downtown Madison today. The fire involved the second floor and front wall of the four unit apartment building at 14 S. Franklin Street. Flames and smoke blocked the front door and stairway, forcing the occupants to go out exits in the rear of the building. A Madison Police Department Sergeant helped pull one occupant out of the window of his first floor apartment, saving him from the fire and smoke.
Fire units were dispatched at 1:11 AM and arrived six minutes later. Several crews went to work immediately, extinguishing fire and searching the building for any occupants. The fire was declared under control at 2:00 AM.
One firefighter commented that the smoke alarms "did their job" to warn the occupants of the fire and provide them with time to escape.
Madison Gas and Electric responded to the scene to disconnect the power to the home's electric wires that were burned off by the fire. The American Red Cross Badger Chapter is assisting the occupants with temporary housing and immediate needs.
Damage to the building is estimated at $240,000. The cause of this fire is under investigation.
Firefighters remind everyone of these safety tips:
• Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, in each bedroom or sleeping area, and outside the bedroom doors.
• Test your smoke alarms every month.
• Have a home escape plan and practice it twice a year.
• When the alarm sounds, get out and stay out.
• After you have escaped, call 9-1-1 from a safe place.
• Never go back inside the building for any reason.
• Please visit www.madisonfire.org for more safety information.
- Eric Dahl, 608-279-7148