Uncleared Hydrants Hamper Response to Fire that Caused ‘Significant’ Damage to Fitchburg (WI) Home

Firefighter helmet

Shanzeh Ahmad

The Wisconsin State Journal

(MCT)

Feb. 14—Hydrants that were not cleared of snow hampered efforts to put out a fire that caused “significant” damage to a Fitchburg home Saturday evening, fire officials said.

Multiple neighbors reported flames and smoke coming from the garage of the single-family home on Meadowood Driveshortly after 5:30 p.m.

The fire quickly spread to the rest of the house, which was “fully involved in fire,” Fitchburg Fire Departmentspokesperson Meredith Sheltonsaid.

A man was home when the fire started but had evacuated by the time crews arrived on scene, Shelton said. The homeowner was taken to an area hospital to be treated for minor burns.

Initial crews quickly exhausted the water available on board the trucks at the scene, which is intended only to establish an initial fire attack, the Fire Departmentsaid. Because fire hydrants had not been cleared of snow, they were not immediately available, and mutual aid was requested.

Neighboring properties were evacuated as a safety precaution, and Madison Metroprovided a bus to keep the residents warm and safe from the sub-zero temperatures. The Salvation Armyalso was asked to help provide support for fire personnel and neighbors.

The fire was put out by 7 p.m.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. A damage estimate was not available, but Shelton said there was a “significant loss for the homeowner.”

Fitchburgpolice, FitchRona EMS, and Madison, Verona, Oregon, McFarlandand Maple Blufffire departments provided assistance.

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