Running toilet causes power outage in downtown Madison apartment building

Madison Fire Department

MADISON, Wis. — The Madison Fire Department says a malfunctioning toilet was the cause of a power outage in downtown Madison early Thursday morning.

Fire officials say the department responded to 380 W. Washington Ave. just after 3 a.m., when firefighters with Ladder 1 were met by someone who lived in the building and said their toilet’s flush was broken and had been flushing for several hours. The person living in the building said they had been trying to get a hold of the building’s maintenance workers and local plumbers before resorting to calling 911.

Once inside the building, firefighters found standing water in the person’s apartment and in the adjacent hallway. The water eventually seeped through several spots in the building, including the electrical supply, which caused a power outage for the entire building, including a restaurant on the ground floor.

Property management eventually came to shut off the toilet’s water supply, but the fire department says cleanup and mitigation efforts are expected to continue throughout the day.