‘A devastating incident’: State Fire Marshal investigating fatal Fitchburg fire

FITCHBURG, Wis. — Fitchburg fire officials said Thursday that a lack of automatic sprinklers — and a potential lack of functional smoke alarms — may have contributed to a man’s death in an apartment fire earlier this week.

Crews responded to the fire at an apartment complex at 2118 Red Arrow Trail around 11:55 p.m. Tuesday and were quickly able to extinguish the flames. While searching the building, firefighters found a 64-year-old man dead inside his second-floor apartment.

Thursday afternoon, the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man as Timothy Trummer.

Authorities with the Fitchburg Fire Department said in their initial release that one person was hospitalized for smoke inhalation and several others were displaced, but they did not mention the man’s death because of “the sensitive nature of the fatality.”

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Firefighters ultimately determined the fire started in the man’s kitchen trash can before spreading to nearby cabinetry and the rest of the apartment. The fire has since been ruled accidental.

“This is a devastating incident. The Department extends its deepest sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased,” Deputy Fire Chief Chad Grossen said. “Incidents like this stress the importance of early fire detection by having properly installed and operating smoke alarms in your residence.”

Trummer’s death remains under investigation. The medical examiner’s office said the results of a forensic exam of his body are pending.