Lightning causes Madison condo to catch fire, fire officials say

Firefighters put out a fire at a west Madison condo after lightning struck the building Thursday night, officials said.

The Madison Fire Department said it responded to investigate the smell of smoke at the condo building on the 500 block Midvale Boulevard around 8:30 p.m. Lightning had caused a fire on the exterior of the building.

A fire engine was already in the area responding to other storm-related emergencies, according to the report. Firefighters met with the caller, who pointed out the area where she believed the lightning struck. Fire wasn’t immediately apparent, but the smell of something burning was in the air.

Firefighters climbed to the roof of the building to check for possible strikes there. With a thermal imaging camera, they confirmed no signs of fire or lightning strike.

Upon reviewing the building’s exterior during a 360-degree assessment, firefighters found fire showing about a half-block away on the second floor of the structure, the report said. The firefighters knocked down the exterior fire at 8:54 p.m.

Firefighters then entered the adjacent condo to check for fire extension, finding light smoke conditions inside. The bathroom was overhauled, but no other smoke or fire conditions were noted in the rest of the unit, including the attic.

The fire department said that the occupants were not home at the time of the fire.