Unattended Cooking Caused Duplex Kitchen Fire

April 29, 2014

City of Madison fire investigators have concluded that a pot of oil left on the stove caused Saturday night’s duplex fire in the 3300 block of Prairie Road. It was the second time firefighters were dispatched to the home that day.

The unusual chain of events began at 2:00 Saturday afternoon when the glass fronting the gas fireplace shattered. When firefighters arrived, the pilot light was still on. Crews shut the gas line off to the fireplace and checked with the thermal imaging camera (TIC) for heat in the chimney, but found temperatures in the normal range. There was no fire damage and that incident was unrelated to the later kitchen fire.

At 6:46 p.m., neighbors in the adjacent unit of the duplex reported hearing a smoke alarm sounding and called 911. The neighbors opened the front door to make sure everyone was out of the house. The family was not home at the time, but returned after the neighbors called to notify them of the fire. The resident used two extinguishers on the fire. The first extinguisher did not work, but he was able to deploy the second extinguisher with some success.

When firefighters arrived, smoke was coming from the open front door and from the rear of the home.
Ladder Company 7 performed a search and rescue. Engine 7 made an aggressive interior attack, advancing a hose through the front door and into the kitchen, where both smoke and flames were present. Firefighters quickly knocked down the fire, containing most of the fire damage to the kitchen area. There was moderate to heavy smoke damage throughout the two-story unit. The neighboring unit had only a light smoke smell present.

There were no injuries to any of the residents, but the family of six who lived there was displaced and they are currently living with relatives.

Damages have been calculated at a total of $80,000, with $70,000 for the structural damage and $10,000 for contents.

 

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