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The original item was published from 2/13/2021 8:34:52 PM to 2/21/2021 12:00:03 AM.

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Fire Department Press Releases

Posted on: February 13, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Snowed in Hydrants Slow Fire Response

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Just after 5:30 in the evening on Saturday, February 13, 2021, Dane County Public Safety Communications (911) notified the Fitchburg Fire Department of a structure fire on the 5000 block of Meadowood Dr in the City of Fitchburg. Multiple callers, all neighbors of the reported property, reported seeing flames and smoke coming from the garage. 


The first arriving fire personnel confirmed an active structure fire in the attached garage of a single family home with heavy smoke and flames visible. The fire quickly spread to the rest of the house, involving all rooms and the attic space.


Because of the size of the fire and how quickly it spread, initial fire attack crews quickly exhausted the water available on-board the apparatus that were on scene. This on-board water supply is meant only to establish an initial fire attack and normally crews would establish a more sustainable water supply from nearby fire hydrants. Unfortunately, because the available fire hydrants had not been cleared of snow, they were not immediately available. As soon as the Incident Commander was notified that water supply was quickly diminishing, he called for assistance from the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS), bringing additional personnel and apparatus on scene, as well as personnel to staff the Fitchburg Station if needed for other calls in the City.


The fire spread rapidly so neighboring properties were evacuated as a safety precaution and Madison Metro provided a bus to keep the residents warm and safe from the sub-zero temperatures. The Salvation Army was also requested to help provide support for the fire personnel as well as neighbors. The home owner was transported to an area hospital to be treated for minor burns. No other injuries were reported. 


Automatic aid was received from the Fitchburg Police Department, FitchRona EMS, Madison Fire Department, and the Verona Fire Department. Mutual aid was provided by Oregon Area Fire/EMS, McFarland Fire Department, and Maple Bluff Fire Department.


The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by Fitchburg Fire Investigators.


For additional information, please contact Fire Chief Joe Pulvermacher: 608-327-9449.




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