Officials: Amy’s Cafe fire caused by discarded smoking materials

Fire damage was confined to basement

City of Madison fire investigators said a fire in the basement of a downtown restaurant last week began with discarded smoking materials, possibly dropped from a neighboring building.

Firefighters responded to a fire at Amy’s Cafe, which is at 414 West Gilman St., on July 9.

Investigators found remnants of the smoking materials in the wood frame of a basement window below a sidewalk that separates the two buildings, according to Lori Wirth, a spokeswoman for the Madison Fire Department.

When crews arrived at the fire, they found smoke coming from the basement. Fire department personnel evacuated residents from second-floor apartments in the building. No one was injured.

Firefighters had the fire knocked down within minutes of their arrival, Wirth said.

Officials said fire damage was confined to the basement. There was light smoke damage on the first floor, where the restaurant is located, and virtually no damage in the second floor residential units, Wirth said.

The estimated damage, including lost inventory, is $25,000, according to the Madison Fire Department.