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Fire Department Press Releases

Posted on: July 11, 2023

Fire Sprinkler System Saves Apartment Building

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Incident Type: Structure Fire 

Incident Date: 7/10/2023

Release Date: 7/11/2023

Prepared By: Mark Mlekush, Division Chief of Prevention and Inspection

At approximately 1:30 pm Monday Afternoon, July 10, 2023, Dane County Public Safety Communications (911) notified the Fitchburg Fire Department of a fire alarm at a multifamily structure on the 2000 block of Traceway Drive in the City of Fitchburg.

The first arriving fire personnel reported alarms sounding but did not find active fire. After a rapid search of the structure, fire crews found that a single fire protection sprinkler head had activated inside of an apartment, and extinguished a fire before it could spread.

The fire was determined to have started in the kitchen and is not believed to be suspicious. The residents of this multi-family structure were able to safely return to their apartments within an hour.

Due to the automatic sprinkler system having activated very quickly and efficiently; fire damage was limited to the immediate area of the stove and cabinets. The majority of the occupant’s belongings and personal effects were saved from fire damage.

Without the presence of an automatic fire suppression system in this structure, it is highly likely that the entire building would have been compromised by the fire.

Assistance was received from the Verona Fire Department.

Fire sprinkler systems save lives and property!

Fire sprinkler systems can keep fires from spreading and can also extinguish them. Fire spreads quickly and can double in size every minute. Even small fires can cause significant damage to property and endanger those nearby.

Contrary to many Hollywood portrayals, only sprinkler heads directly exposed to the heat of the fire activate, not those in the rest of the room, building, or complex.

For additional information, please contact Division Chief Mark Mlekush: mark.mlekush@fitchburgwi.gov.

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