No sprinkler system in Fitchburg apartment building where fire broke out, officials say

2 children saw smoke, alerted police officer

Children in a Fitchburg neighborhood helped alert authorities to a fire at an apartment building Wednesday morning, officials said.

The Fitchburg Fire Department said the initial call reporting the fire came in just before 8 a.m. and was made by a Fitchburg officer who was alerted by two children who noticed smoke coming from the apartment building in the 4500 block of Thurston Lane.

The fire department said a second call to 911 came shortly after that from residents of the building reporting a fire in their unit.

Fitchburg units were at the scene within minutes, with crews confirming visible smoke. After entering the building, they saw the fire in a second-floor apartment, according to the report. The fire department was able to extinguish the fire quickly, but not before it extended to a neighboring unit.

Officials said the two second-floor apartments have heavy fire damage, and the two apartments directly below have heavy water damage.

The first arriving police officer said the alarm was sounding in the apartment where the fire started, and the building alarms started sounding in common spaces shortly after she started alerting the people in other apartments, the report said.

The fire department said the building is not equipped with a sprinkler system.

The cause and exact origin of the fire was unknown as of Wednesday. No injuries were reported.

The Red Cross and Salvation Army were requested to provide assistance to the residents affected by the fire and for on-scene personnel.

Mutual aid was provided by the town of Madison Fire Department, McFarland Fire Department, Oregon Area Fire & EMS, City of Madison Fire Department, Verona Fire Department, Middleton Fire District, FitchRona EMS and the Fitchburg Police Department. The Village of Maple of Bluff Fire Department staffed an engine at Fitchburg Firehouse #1 while the crew was away fighting the fire.

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