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Sprinkler Holds Fire In Check Until Passerby Reports Smoke At East Towne Restaurant

Incident Type
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 2:31am
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 2:37am
1700 Block Parkside Drive
Madison, WI

Fire investigators determined this fire resulted from self-heating of deep-fried food product. Restaurant staff report that flour is routinely deep-fried for use in some of their sushi products. After being deep-fried, the flour is left to drain and cool for a day. In this case, the deep-fried flour ignited on its own overnight, resulting in a fire that caused at least $250,000 in damages.

--PIO Cynthia Schuster

Posted 04/08/2019 - 2:17pm

A fire at an east-side restaurant was kept in check overnight thanks to an automatic fire sprinkler. It’s unknown how long the fire had been burning before a passerby called 911 at 2:30 a.m. to report smoke in the area.

Engine Company 8 arrived first on scene and began a check of the perimeter surrounding Sumo Steakhouse and Sushi Bar (1745 Parkside Drive). Ladder Company 8 went to the roof of the restaurant and entered the building through a hatch. That’s when they discovered light smoke coming from a kitchen vent.

Engine 8 pulled an attack line and proceeded to the kitchen, where an automatic sprinkler was holding a fire at bay. Engine 8 extinguished the remainder of the kitchen fire. Meanwhile, Ladder Company 1 found additional fire in the kitchen exhaust system and promptly extinguished that fire with a water can extinguisher. Crews performed extensive overhaul to ensure all fire was completely extinguished.

The kitchen suffered significant damage, but without the automatic sprinkler holding the fire in place at a time when nobody was around to report the fire, it is believed the entire building would have been consumed by fire.

Public Health Madison-Dane County was notified of the incident. The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time.

Posted 04/05/2019 - 8:33am

Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)