Unattended Candles Caused Weekend Apartment Fire

November 8, 2011

City of Madison fire investigators have determined that unattended candles caused the weekend apartment fire at 2905 Commercial Ave.

Firefighters were dispatched to the 4-unit apartment building shortly after noon Saturday.

Crews were met with black smoke when they entered the apartment where the fire was located. They used a thermal imaging camera (TIC) to guide them to the area where fire was still burning, in a bathroom near the center of the apartment.

The occupants of the apartment had left candles burning on the vanity in the bathroom. The candles ignited a nearby shower curtain.

Everyone in the 2-story building evacuated safely. Damages to the apartment were estimated at $75,000.

The City of Madison Fire Department reminds residents:

Candle with care
•Blow out all candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Avoid the use of candles in the bedroom and other areas where people may fall asleep.
•Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.

If you do burn candles, make sure that you...
•Use candle holders that are sturdy, and won't tip over easily.
•Put candle holders on a sturdy, uncluttered surface.
•Light candles carefully. Keep your hair and any loose clothing away from the flame.
•Don't burn a candle all the way down - put it out before it gets too close to the holder or container.
•Never use a candle if oxygen is used in the home.
•Have flashlights and battery-powered lighting ready to use during a power outage. Never use candles.

Contact:
  • Lori Wirth, (608) 266-5947