St. Dennis Catholic School evacuated due to basement fire; no injuries reported

MADISON, Wis. — Madison fire crews are investigating what caused a fire at St. Dennis Catholic School on Madison’s east side Thursday afternoon.

Madison Fire Department Public Information Officer Cynthia Schuster said crews were dispatched to the school in the 400 block of Dempsey Road shortly after 2:30 p.m. When firefighters got to the scene, the school was being evacuated.

Firefighters found smoke in the basement and later found fire in a lower-level storage room. Schuster added that firefighters struggled to locate the exact source due to heavy smoke and the size of the room.

As of just after 4 p.m., the fire was out and crews shifted to ventilation efforts.

All 256 students and staff members got out of the building safely, and a classroom guinea pig was not hurt. Schuster praised the school for its quick evacuation efforts and for safely reuniting children with their parents.

A damage estimate is not immediately available.