Apartment Occupant Injured Following Cooking Fire

December 27, 2011

City of Madison firefighters responded to 1910 West Broadway this morning just after 10:00 following a report of a structure fire at the two-story apartment building.

The occupant of a second-floor apartment was heating oil for frying and left the kitchen to attend to a young child he was caring for.

As he turned to head back to the stove, he saw smoke billowing from the kitchen. He took the child to a neighbor and grabbed a fire extinguisher located in the building. He was able to extinguish the fire and contain much of the damage before firefighters arrived, but cut his arm on the fire extinguisher cabinet in the process. He was treated by paramedics at the scene.

Engine Company 3 inspected the area where the fire began and found some extension in the ceiling near an exhaust fan.

Damages were estimated at $15,000. Firefighters report that an alarm was sounding in the hallway of the building, but none were sounding in the apartment. The smoke alarm that had been installed in the apartment near bedrooms was found melted on the stove.

The City of Madison Fire Department reminds residents:
Cooking equipment fires are the leading cause of home structure fires and associated civilian injuries. These fires accounted for 40% of all reported home structure fires and 36% of home civilian injuries.

• Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, in each bedroom, and outside each bedroom.
• Test your smoke alarms every month.
• Make an escape plan and have a fire drill to practice your plan.
• 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.
• Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don't use the stove or stovetop.
• Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
• If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
• Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire
• Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
• If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
• Keep a lid nearby when you're cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
• For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

  • Lori Wirth, (608) 266-5947