UPDATE: Authorities name victim of fatal fire in Fitchburg - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Authorities name victim of fatal fire in Fitchburg


FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- The Dane County Coroner has identified the victim of Saturday's fatal apartment fire as 80 year-old Ruth Johnson.

Firefighters originally discovered Johnson without a pulse during a search and rescue effort of the building. Paramedics were able to resuscitate her before she was taken to a local hospital. Johnson was later pronounced dead at St. Lukes Hospital in Milwaukee.


FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- Police discover a marijuana growing operation in an adjacent apartment while investigating the fire.

Fitchburg Police say at this time charges have been referred to the Dane County District Attorney's Office for Manufacturing a Controlled Substance.

Police say the suspect has been interviewed and acknowledged he was growing pot at the home.


FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- One woman is dead after a fire broke out Saturday morning at a multi-unit apartment building in Fitchburg.

Firefighters responded to the Sun Valley Apartment complex just past 8am on Breckenridge Ct. near Fish Hatchery Road after reports of smoke in one of the units.

Firefighters searched a number of aparments looking for the fire. In one, they found a woman.

"Once they enetered they began to search and the first apartment they opened the door finding a person in that apartment. That person was transported to the hospital," says Fitchburg Fire Deputy Chief Chad Grossen.

The woman had no pulse but paramedics were able to restore basic vital signs. The woman was initially taken to St. Mary's Hospital and was later transported to St. Luke's Hospital in Milwaukee where she died shortly after arrival.

Authorities say preliminary investigation indicates the woman died from inhalation of poisonous gases. Her name is being withheld at this time pending notification of family.

Firefighters put out the fire which extended into the attic, causing substantial damage.

"Maybe there are perceptions out there that if an alarm goes off, the fire department shows up. Not all these multi unit family units have transmittions to a monitoring service or fire department," Grossen says. 

Only eight of the 24 units in the building were occupied at the time of the fire due to a remodeling project. The local chapter of the American Red Cross is assisting four families with children and five other adults that were displaced by the fire.


FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- Firefighters from several departments responded to an apartment fire at 3640 Breckinridge Court in Fitchburg just before 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning.

According to authorities with the Fitchburg fire department, one person was injured in the fire and transported to a local hospital. The status of their condition is unknown at this time.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Check back with WKOWTV.COM for further updates.

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