Incident Type: 
Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 8:00am
Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - 8:04am
2800 block East Washington Avenue
Madison, WI

Neighbors called 911 to report smoke in the hallway of their apartment building and a smoke detector sounding inside one of the apartment units. Engine Co. 3 arrived first on scene and proceeded to check the building’s alarm system for signs of trouble. They noted the building’s alarm system had not activated.

With witness reports of smoke on the fourth floor, the crew made their way there. They found moderate smoke conditions and a smell of something burning. Firefighters determined which apartment the smoke was coming from and entered the unit. The apartment was fully charged with smoke from floor to ceiling. Engine 3 located a fire in the kitchen trash inside a pull-out cabinet. The crew applied water to the fire to extinguish it and confirmed the fire had not spread further.

As firefighters began to clear the smoke from the apartment, they found two cats inside. One was placed in a crate and taken outside. The other was content hiding under the bed. The occupant returned home and described burning a stick of incense before work. She discarded the incense into the trash, believing it to be extinguished. Firefighters confirm the discarded incense was the source of the fire.

Fire damage was limited to the kitchen cabinetry; however, there was also smoke damage throughout the apartment.

Posted 04/19/2023 - 1:52pm

Cynthia Schuster (Public Information Officer)