Smoldering Rags Set Off Smoke Alarm In Downtown Building

Incident Type
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 4:30am
Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 4:35am
300 Block N. Randall Avenue
Madison, WI

Early detection by a smoke alarm helped firefighters locate and put a stop to a fire brewing in a downtown business early Wednesday morning. 

A resident on the 300 block of N. Randall Street woke up around 4:30 a.m. to the sound of an alarm and found the common area “very smoky,” prompting him to call 911.

Medic 4 and Engine Co. 4 arrived first to find a haze of smoke inside the building. Ladder Company 1 accessed a business downstairs and ultimately located two bags of oily rags, one of which was smoldering on the floor. Firefighters cooled the bag with a water can and then took the rags outside. Crews then ventilated the building to clear the smoke, and tenants were allowed back inside.

If not for early warning by the smoke detector, the smoldering rags could have ignited a fire, causing significant damage and possibly putting lives at risk before being detected. Make sure you have working smoke detectors throughout your home. Learn where to place them to keep your home protected.

When finished working with oily rags, be sure to dispose of them properly so they don’t start a fire. Never leave them in a pile, and dispose of dried rags in a metal container.

Posted 11/21/2019 - 8:40am

Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)