A dryer fire burned long enough Wednesday to burst a water pipe above it and extinguish itself, but not before several pets died and smoke damage displaced a family from a Near West Side house, according to the Madison Fire Department.
Department spokesperson Cynthia Schuster said a neighbor alerted firefighters to black smoke seen in a house on the 4300 block of Doncaster Drive. When they arrived around 2:15 p.m., firefighters entered the house, she said.
"Though the crew did not encounter much smoke upon entry, evidence indicated there'd been a long-burning fire that caused a significant amount of smoke damage and oxygen displacement throughout the home," Schuster said in a statement.
When firefighters reached the dryer, flames or heat had caused a water pipe to burst, spraying water on the fire and putting it out, Schuster said. The fire was estimated to have started hours before.
While several cats, dogs and small animals died, one cat was found alive in a room with a closed door, she said.
"There was still a high amount of carbon monoxide in the air, however, and the cat was taken to a veterinary clinic for evaluation," Schuster said.
The tenants were not home at the time of the fire, she said, but smoke and soot damage throughout the house has displaced them.