Apartment Complex Displaced By Cooking Fire

Incident Type
Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 1:48pm
Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 1:52pm
Northridge Terrace
Madison, WI

A four-unit apartment complex has been displaced as a result of a cooking fire that broke out Thursday afternoon.

A neighbor called 911 upon recognize there was a fire in the building. She attempted to exit her unit, but when met with smoke in the doorway, she immediately closed her door and exited to her balcony to wait for firefighters to arrive.

Engine Co. 10 was first on scene. They saw smoke downrange of the building as they turned onto the street. The crew entered the building through an open garage door and found fire in the kitchen with flames rolling on the ceiling. As two members of Engine Co. 10 pulled a line to begin fire suppression, another firefighter threw a ladder to the exterior balcony and assisted the stranded neighbor down from her second-floor unit.

Severe smoke damage affected the common hallway of the building, forcing the displacement of the entire building – a total of eight occupants and their pets. While no people were injured in the fire, one cat died. Two other cats were rescued from a neighboring apartment and returned to their owner unharmed. The American Red Cross is assisting those who have been displaced.

Fire Investigators determined the fire was the result of oil being heated on the stovetop. The oil boiled over, igniting on the burner. Attempts were made by occupants to extinguish the fire, but the fire grew too big too fast for them to control it on their own. Upon evacuating the building, several doors were left open, which contributed to the spread of smoke and fire.

Safety Reminders: Cooking is the number one cause of home fires and home fire injuries. The Madison Fire Department reminds everyone to always “stand by your pan.” Have lids for all your pots and pans nearby; they can be used to snuff out a small cooking fire. If you are confronted with a fire you cannot control, evacuate immediately and close all doors behind you before calling 911. This helps keep smoke and fire contained until firefighters are able to take over, and it reduces the amount of air (namely, oxygen) available to feed the fire. Get more safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association.

Posted 11/05/2020 - 5:45pm

Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)