City of Fitchburg Fire Department
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
The Fitchburg Fire Department responded to an apartment complex on Post Road on Tuesday, June 9, just after 4 p.m. for a fire alarm. While responding to this address, the Dane County Communications Center advised Engine 1 that the fire alarm was activated due to a sprinkler alarm activation.
Upon arrival, Engine 1 found there had been a grease fire in one of the apartments, but confirmed there was no active fire at the time of their arrival. The sprinkler system was shut off, the fire alarm reset, and additional crews assisted in the removal of water from the apartment.
The occupant was cooking on the stove and left the pan unattended, which resulted in a grease fire. After noticing the fire, the occupant threw water on the pan. When the water reached the grease fire it reacted violently causing the fire to travel across the ceiling and activate the one sprinkler head located in the kitchen. This one sprinkler head extinguished the fire and prevented it from spreading to the kitchen cabinets and other parts of the apartment.
At the time of the fire, 4 people were in this apartment, including at least one minor, but all the occupants were able to safely exit the building. No injuries, to either firefighters or civilians, were reported.
The cause of the fire is unattended cooking, which appears to be accidental in nature. Damage was contained to the apartment where the fire occurred and the apartment directly below, due to water from the sprinkler, and the estimated loss value is $10,000.
The apartment building where this fire occurred installed a new fire alarm system in 2007 and sprinkler system in 2008. Both of these systems worked as designed and because of them, a potentially outcome was prevented.
Here are a few safety tips for fires in the kitchen:
• Never leave cooking unattended
• Set a timer to remind yourself to turn off burners and the oven
• Keep stove and oven free of grease
• Avoid clutter around cooking areas
• Use potholders to handle hot food
• Avoid the use of loose fitting clothes
• Never put foil or other metals in a microwave oven
• Avoid cooking if you have recently taken medication that causes drowsiness
• If food catches fire, CAREFULLY slide a lid over the pot and turn off the burner
• Leave lid and pot in place until it cools