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City of Madison News Release
For Immediate Release:
Feb 2, 2012
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Final Report on Webster St. Fire Released
City of Madison Fire investigators have released the final report on last summer's fire at 24 N. Webster St.
That fire on June 30, destroyed the Capitol Hills Apartments, displacing 27 residents, and shut down a restaurant in the basement.
Following a thorough investigation, which included a fire scene examination, numerous witness interviews and a study of the building's construction, fire investigators have concluded that the fire originated in a wait station area of the Underground Kitchen.
Investigators were unable to rule out self-heating of restaurant towels. The fire has been classified as "undetermined."
The fire turned into a 2nd alarm assignment, with multiple fire companies responding. That same day, the Madison Fire/Police Fire Investigation Task Force requested assistance from the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Agents from the Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and agents from ATF responded to the scene.
Investigators conducted a fire scene examination to identify the area of fire origin and to examine potential ignition sources in the area. No common ignitable liquids were detected in any of the items submitted for analysis.