UPDATE: Firefighters battle blaze at downtown apartment building - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Firefighters battle blaze at downtown apartment building


MADISON (WKOW) -- The Madison Fire Department has released updated information on the N. Webster St. fire that burned much of the Capitol Hills Apartments building early Thursday morning.

MFD'S Lori Wirth says the total number of residents displaced is 27.  Earlier, MFD reported 24 apartment units inside the building had been affected by the blaze.

The YWCA building across from the apartment building had been evacuated for safety reasons, but is now open.  It opened after noon.

E. Washington St. was reopened earlier, but Mifflin and Webster Streets remain closed as City Streets crews move in to clean up debris from the fire.  They hope to have those streets open by Thursday evening.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The Madison Fire Department says a fire in an apartment building near the Capitol is out.

The fire started around 5 a.m. in the building at 24 North Webster Street.  Firefighters say flames were through the roof and black smoke kept visibility near the building almost non-existent.

Spokeswoman Lori Wirth says everyone inside the building was able to get out safely.  She says about 30 residents won't be able to return until Friday at the earliest.  The American Red Cross was on site to help people who were displaced.

Firefighters focused much of their attack on the roof, where fire burned just under a rubber covering.  They used two ladder towers to keep the flames under control.

Crews also tried to protect adjacent buildings.  The neighboring buildings sustained smoke damage, but were protected from fire and structural damage.

The YWCA on E. Mifflin St. was evacuated after numerous 911 calls from people who complained of respiratory complications from the smoke in the area.  A Madison Metro Bus took the people to the Salvation Army.

Firefighters finally knocked down the fire around 1 p.m.  Crews will remain on scene to watch for any remaining hot spots.  A crew is expected to be assigned to the building overnight.

East Washington Avenue has been reopened to traffic up to the Capitol.  Two blocks of N. Webster and E. Mifflin remain closed.

Investigators are talking to witnesses to see how the fire began.  At this point, the cause has not been determined.  No damage estimate has been given.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Firefighters have been battling a blaze at a downtown Madison apartment building for most of the morning, according to Madison Fire Department spokeswoman Lori Wirth.

Wirth says the fire is out on the first, second and third floors, but crews are still working on getting out flames in the attic.

All the residents of the 24-unit building on 24 North Webster Street have been evacuated. No injuries have been reported.

The American Red Cross is assisting the renters. Wirth says residents won't be able to return until Friday at the earliest.

Wirth warns to avoid driving downtown if possible. East Washington Avenue and Mifflin Street are closed from Pinckney Street to E. Webster. Wirth believes these roads will be closed all day.

Stay with www.wkow.com for the very latest on this developing story.

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