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Basement fire displaces 4 residents, pets from Southwest Side duplex, authorities say

Basement fire displaces 4 residents, pets from Southwest Side duplex, authorities say


A basement fire on Monday morning displaced four residents and pets from their Southwest Side duplex, the Madison Fire Department reported.

An occupant of the duplex in the 1400 block of Theresa Terrace called 911 just before 8:30 a.m., crews were dispatched at 8:31 a.m., arrived at 8:35 a.m., and had the fire under control at 8:41 a.m., Fire Department spokeswoman Cynthia Schuster said in a report.

Fire Station 7 staff found smoke escaping from the duplex’s eaves upon arrival. Engine Co. 9 and Engine Co. 4 searched both sides of the duplex and confirmed all occupants were out, Schuster said. Engine Co. 7 put out the fire, which extended into the walls and void spaces above the basement.

The blaze caused extensive damage, and the Red Cross assisted the displaced residents, she said. Occupants of the neighboring duplex were able to return home.

While the exact cause of this fire is undetermined, investigators suspect an electrical problem may have been a factor, Schuster said, adding that damage is estimated around $75,000.

A bit later on Monday morning, a fire damaged a garage in the 100 block of West Lakeside Street, Schuster said in a separate report.

A passerby called 911 about 9:45 a.m. to report “lots of smoke” in the area of Lakeside Street near Colby Street, and the smoke was from the garage fire about a block away. Crews were dispatched at 9:48 a.m. and arrived at 9:52 a.m., Schuster said.

Neighbors notified the homeowner as firefighters were headed to the scene. Ladder Co. 1 crews found smoke showing from the eaves of the garage, as well as through a window, when they arrived, and entered through a side door, Schuster said.

The fire was located quickly and Engine Co. 3 initiated a fire attack, first from the side door and then through the front opening of the overhead doors. The fire burned through the interior ceiling and traveled into a loft space in the garage, and crews soaked down hot spots until the fire was completely extinguished, Schuster said.

The nearby home was not affected by the fire, which investigators ruled accidental and the result of a recently-used butane torch placed into storage too soon after use, Schuster said.

Damage was estimated at $50,000.

No injuries were reported, though the homeowner reported that “some mice were displaced,” Schuster said.

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