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Incident Type: Structure Fire
Incident Date: 5/17/22
Release Date: 5/19/22
Prepared By: Deputy Chief Chad Grossen
Officials have determined an apartment fire in Fitchburg, which claimed the life of a male resident, was accidental.
At approximately 11:55pm Tuesday, May 17, 2022, the Fitchburg Fire Department responded to a structure fire at an apartment complex located at 2118 Red Arrow Trail in the City of Fitchburg. The fire was extinguished quickly by first arriving companies. After a search of the unit, a male victim was found deceased.
While official identification and cause of death by the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office are pending, the victim was a 64-year-old male resident of the apartment.
Due to the sensitive nature of the fatality, the information was not shared at the time of the initial press release until the family was notified.
Following an assessment of the scene, fire investigators determined the fire began in the kitchen. A fire originated in a plastic trash can and spread to kitchen cabinetry and then to the rest of the apartment.
Investigators learned the fire was discovered by the two occupants of the apartment, who attempted to extinguish it by using water. The smoke became too heavy, which forced one of the occupants out onto the balcony, that person that was transported to the hospital. The rest of the building residents were able to evacuate the building without injury, some with assistance by Fire and Police personnel.
“This is a devastating incident. The Department extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased. Incidents like this stress the importance of early fire detection by having properly installed and operating smoke alarms in your residence,” said Deputy Fire Chief Chad Grossen.
This building did not have an automatic fire sprinkler system. Sprinklers are vital in saving lives and protecting property. They are designed to control or extinguish fires in the early stages. This makes it easier and safer for building occupants to exit the building, and for firefighters to extinguish any fire that remains.
It is unknown, at this time, if the apartment had working smoke alarms at the time of the fire. Smoke alarms are proven to alert residents to a fire danger and give critical seconds to escape safely from a fire emergency. The Fitchburg Fire Department encourages all families to have working smoke alarms in their homes.
For additional information, please contact Deputy Fire Chief Chad Grossen: 608-270-7044.