POSTED: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 -- 5:44 p.m.
An employee was about to start work in the Dutch Mill Sports Club, when she noticed the building was full of smoke. She called 911, then attempted to put the fire out with a water extinguisher before firefighters arrived.
Firefighters responded to 4818 Dutch Mill Road around 8:30 am. The fire was extinguished prior to their arrival. Fire crews checked the building to be sure the fire did not extend into the walls and ceilings. Crews also cleared the building of smoke by using natural ventilation.
City of Madison Fire Investigators have determined that the fire was started by wires to a neon light which were coiled and held together by a twist tie, then placed on top of a neon transformer. The neon sign, which was mounted on a wall, started the main bar area on fire. The light was on seven days a week 24 hours a day.
Dutch Mill Sports Club is presently closed due to fire and smoke damage, but hope to open soon. The Health Department was also notified of the fire.
The fire caused an estimated $7,500 in damage. No one was hurt as a result of the fire.
Neon signs are considered to be an electrical device, so proper precautions are recommended. Do not expose indoor signs to water or cover them so they do not get proper ventilation or use them near flammable materials. Many neon lights have an on and off switch so the sign can be turned off when not in use.