At approximately 3:00 pm on Friday, September 7, the Fitchburg Fire Department received a page for a structure fire on Smithfield Drive. Fitchburg Engine 2 was the first unit to arrive on scene and the officer reported seeing heavy smoke coming from a first floor window. Engine 2's crew entered the apartment and located and put out the fire within ten minutes of arrival.
Additional crews from the Fitchburg Fire Department and the Verona Fire Department assisted with ventilating the unit as well as searching the building for any possible fire extension.
The individual who was in the unit at the time of the fire was able to exit the building and called 911. The occupant's calls for help alerted a good Samaritan and past volunteer firefighter who attempted to put out the fire but there was too much smoke and heat and he was forced to go back outside. Occupants of the building's other units were alerted to the emergency by smoke alarms located in the common areas and were also able to safely exit the building. When the door was opened to the unit where the fire occurred, enough heat entered the common hallway to set off the sprinkler system, but water damage was limited.
The cause of the fire is believed to be unattended cooking, but the Fitchburg Fire Investigators are conducting a thorough investigation to determine if there were any other contributing factors. Loss is estimated at $50,000.
In addition to the Verona Fire Department, FitchRona EMS and Fitchburg Police assisted on the scene with traffic management and personnel safety. No injuries were reported during this incident.