UPDATE: Investigation Continues into Cause of Fire at UW Medical Sciences Building

UPDATED Thursday, February 28, 2013 --- 3:40 p.m.

Press Release from the Madison Fire Department:

City of Madison fire investigators continue working to determine the exact cause of this morning’s fire at the Medical Sciences Building at 1300 University on the UW-Madison campus.

The fire originated in a lab on the 4th floor at the rear of the building. Firefighters were dispatched shortly after 8:00 this morning in response to a building fire alarm. Engine Company 4 responded to the University Avenue side of the building and observed smoke from the roof. When they found no fire in that area of the building, other crews were directed to the rear of the building (Linden St. side).
Due to the location, age and size of the structure, a third alarm was called.

Once the fire was located, knockdown took place at 8:44 a.m., with the fire extinguished by 9 a.m.

Fire damage was confined to a small area on the 4th floor, but smoke damage spread to multiple floors. What was earlier thought to be activated sprinklers turned out to be a failure of water lines above the ceiling that sprayed water into the fire room. That area of the building is not sprinklered.

Firefighters activated some alarms after they entered the building to spur evacuation. Alarms did not sound in all areas of the massive structure, formerly the UW Hospital.

Firefighters performed overhaul to ensure there was no extension into walls or ceilings. Crews remained on scene to ventilate the smoke for several hours after the fire was extinguished.

Investigators remain on scene, where part of the building has been sealed off. University officials are calculating damages, and working with staff and students regarding access to the building.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 28, 2013 --- 3:17 p.m.

Information from the UW-Madison:

1:30 p.m.: SMI and Bardeen have reopened. MSC (The Medical Science Center) is only open to faculty and staff with an access control card.

Classes will not be held in MSC Friday and students with classes in the building can expect to receive information from their instructor about the location of Friday meetings. All area streets are open.

The fire reported in the MSC Complex was extinguished earlier this morning by Madison Fire and there were no injuries. Clean-up crews continue to work in the building.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 28, 2013 --- 11:09 a.m.

Press Release from the Madison Fire Department:

City of Madison firefighters were called to the Medical Sciences Building at 1300 University on the UW-Madison campus shortly after 8:00 this morning in response to a building fire alarm. On arrival, Engine Company 4 observed smoke from the roof of the building. Other units were dispatched to the scene. Due to the location, age and size of the structure, a third alarm was called.

Firefighters from multiple crews searched for the fire in the massive building, finally locating it in a room on the 4th floor at the rear of the building (Linden St. side).

Once crews located the fire, knockdown took place at 8:44 a.m., with the fire extinguished by 9 a.m.

Fire damage was confined to a small area on the 4th floor, but smoke damage spread to multiple floors. Sprinklers in the building did deploy.

There were few people in the building at the time of the fire. They were evacuated. No one was injured.

Firefighters performed overhaul to ensure there was no extension into walls or ceilings. Crews remained on scene to ventilate the smoke for several hours after the fire was extinguished.

Investigators were called to the scene. No damage estimate was immediately available, and the cause remains under investigation.

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UPDATED Thursday, February 28, 2013 --- 10:52 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Fire has damaged the University of Wisconsin Medical Sciences building.

Firefighters responded to the fire shortly after 8 a.m. at the five-story building which stretches two blocks long on the university campus. Madison Fire Department spokeswoman Lori Wirth says there were a small number of people in the building, who were evacuated. She says there are no injuries.

Wirth says the 3-alarm fire was contained to the fourth floor of the building and fire sprinklers were triggered.

About 40 firefighters responded to the scene. Wirth says there's no immediate indication of what started the fire.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED: Thursday, February 26, 2013 --- 10:05 a.m.

The fire at the Medical Science Building is out, it was called in shortly after 8 a.m. It was put out within about 15-20 minutes. UW Police were the first on scene and saw flames coming from the roof.

Madison Fire Department found the fire was centered on the 4th floor in the rear of the building. Public Information Officer Lori Wirth says there are some labs in that area, but it is unclear how the fire started. It may have affected one or two rooms.

Madison Fire found the sprinklers were working, and found flames and heavy heat in that part of the building. They put the fire out, and are making sure the residual heat doesn't cause the fire to spread.

The fire was contained to the fourth floor. Smoke spread to multiple floors. Firefighters are still working to ventilate the building.

There were no injuries. The building was evacuated, and they may allow some people back in later in the day. No other buildings were affected. There is no word on how much damage was caused. Fire investigators are looking into the cause and the damage.

MFD called in the third alarm because of the size of the building, and the fact that is an older building in the midst of several others on the UW Campus.

Firefighters are still asking people to avoid the area.

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UPDATED: Thursday, February 26, 2013 --- 9:30 a.m.

From UW-Madison:

MSC, SMI and Bardeen have been evacuated after reports of a fire. The buildings have been evacuated. All are asked to avoid the area. Linden between Henry Mall and Charter is closed, as is Charter between Observatory and University. University Ave. traffic also impacted. More details will be posted as available.
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Posted Thursday, February 28, 2013 --- 9:10 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Madison firefighters have responded to a fire at the University of Wisconsin medical sciences building.

Smoke is coming from all floors of the building. Fitchburg firefighters have been called to assist with the three-alarm fire.

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Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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