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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, June 05, 2023

Three-alarm fire at Medical Sciences building

The Madison Fire Department reported no injuries after it extinguished a three-alarm fire at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical Sciences building Thursday morning.

The fire ignited in one of the building’s labs, according to Ald. Scott Resnick, District 8, but did not set ablaze near any bio-hazardous or flammable areas.

The MFD called in a third alarm upon arrival because the number of buildings surrounding Medical Sciences makes the area particularly dense, as well as because the building is older and “very large,” according to MFD Spokesperson Lori Wirth.

She said the MFD received the call and sent its initial fire dispatch between 8:00 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.

Firefighters traced the fire to the fourth floor toward the building’s rear, although Wirth said upon arrival, the fire appeared to be located near the roof.

Although the building’s sprinkler system and firefighters successfully extinguished the fire, Wirth said the MFD plans to perform procedures necessary to track down hot spots and ensure the fire did not spread elsewhere.

“There are a lot of places for fire to hide in older buildings,” Wirth said. “We want to make sure there is nothing left behind that could reignite.”

Wirth said at approximately 9:30 a.m. it was too early to report a cause of the fire, but investigators are currently on scene.

Details about the cost of physical and structural damages to the building could be released as early as today, but Wirth said it could be “tricky” to calculate the actual cost of damages because lab equipment could have been ruined as well.

“There are going to be some intangibles that play into [the damage],” Wirth said.

Fire fighters are working on ventilating the building, according to Resnick, because there are animals inside.

“Everything is contained now,” Resnick said. “It’s calm on the scene.”

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