Alarm Investigation Reveals Fire In Downtown Kitchen

Incident Type
Alarm Investigation
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 6:42am
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 6:47am
100 Block W. Gilman Street
Madison, WI 53703

Called to investigate a fire alarm at a downtown high rise, Engine Company 1 soon learned a fire was brewing inside one of the units. The fire was put to a stop before it could cause lasting damage. 

Firefighters responded to the Highlander Apartments, 121 W. Gilman Street, around 6:45 Wednesday morning. Upon arrival, alarms were sounding and a recorded message instructed all occupants to evacuate the building. While many people did evacuate, there were still a few who did not heed the warnings of the automated alarm system.

Engine Company 1 checked the alarm panel, which indicated a smoke detector activated on the second floor. Firefighters proceeded to the 2nd floor, where they found smoke coming from one of the apartments. One firefighter placed his hand against the door and found it very warm to the touch. There was no answer when firefighters rapped loudly on the door, and it was determined the crew needed to force entry.

As one firefighter forced open the door, the fire officer informed the Dane County Public Safety Communications Center that this call needed to be upgraded to a full structure fire response.

Once inside, firefighters found one burner on the stove turned on with a package of cookies on fire. Engine 1 was able to quickly stop any fire spread by use of a water can extinguisher. There was no damage to the stove or the microwave mounted above it, just soot that can be cleaned away.

Engine 1 ventilated the apartment and second-floor hallway, and they reset the alarm panel. Property managers were notified of the incident, and the apartment was secured.

The tenant was not home at the time of the fire.

Posted 02/07/2018 - 11:15am

Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)