Incident Type: 
Thursday, May 26, 2022 - 9:55am
Thursday, May 26, 2022 - 10:01am
1300 W. Badger Road
Madison, WI

A fire brewing underneath the roof of a commercial laundry facility was discovered thanks to the activation of a fire alarm, but the exact cause of the fire is unknown.

Ladder Co. 6 responded to 1310 W. Badger Road to investigate the fire alarm. Upon arrival, a building manager explained that a smoke detector went off and smoke was seen momentarily from the roof line. Firefighters gathered clues from the alarm panel, then proceeded toward a specific dryer duct. That’s where they found a haze of smoke with no obvious source. Electrical power to the dryers in the area was shut down, and firefighters continued to search for the cause of the smoke. A thermal imaging camera revealed high heat in the area where a dryer vent intersects with the corrugated metal ceiling.

Ladder 6 went up to the roof and began opening up the rooftop to continue their search. As they were met with smoke, they activated a full structure fire response from other Madison Fire Department crews. Meanwhile, flames were discovered underneath the rooftop, and Ladder 6 began to extinguish the fire with a hand line. After extinguishing the fire, crews continued to look for signs that the fire had spread, but they confirmed the fire was contained to the wooden framing in the area where the fire was discovered.

Firefighters could not definitively determine the cause of the fire, but a seam in the dryer duct piping could be to blame. It's suspected that hot air from the dryer vent leaked out, causing the wooden frame beams in the ceiling to heat up and ultimately ignite.

Posted 05/27/2022 - 9:08am

Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)