Monday, December 29, 2008 - 8:00am
A couple and their two cats are safe following a fire in their home this morning. All four escaped from the fire that caused approximately $25,000 damage to their home at 1709 Hooker Avenue.
City of Madison firefighters were called to the north side home at 10:20 AM for a reported house fire with someone still inside. When the first emergency crews arrived, they saw flames and smoke coming from the front attic area of the home and found the occupants waiting safely outside the home.
Firefighters extinguished the fire and declared it under control at 10:35 AM. A complete search of the home was performed to be sure everyone was out. No injuries were reported at this fire.
Fire and smoke damage was limited to the front attic area of the home. Water damaged the home's first floor and basement areas. The American Red Cross is assisting the residents with housing and other personal needs.
Fire investigators believe the fire was the result of a recessed light fixture with an oversized wattage bulb that ignited wood members and insulation in the attic. They caution homeowners to check manufacturer's recommendations for light bulb type and size when installing or replacing bulbs.
Although they were not needed today, City of Madison Fire Department ambulances carry pet oxygen masks to help animals that are affected by smoke inhalation.
Firefighters also offer the following safety reminders for everyone:
• Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and in each sleeping area. Interconnected smoke alarms are will make sure the alarm is heard throughout the home.
• 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.
- Eric Dahl, 608-279-7148