Madison Fire lifts stay inside order after large S. Park St. fire

Madison Police Dept. reports the fire may involve potentially hazardous material.
The Madison Fire Department is urging people to avoid the area near the 1800 block of S. Park Street as they continue to battle a three-alarm blaze. Anyone who
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 8:21 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2023 at 10:21 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Residents are encouraged Saturday to avoid the 1800 block of S. Park Street while crews continue to extinguish the flames from a fire that started Friday evening, Madison Fire Department said in a release.

MFD said community members living near the fire are able to open their windows and go outdoors after they were previously encouraged to avoid doing either after concerns the fire contained toxic materials. As of 8:20 a.m. there were still five crews working to put out hot spots until the fire was completely extinguished. Northbound Park Street reopened after the fire, though Southbound remains closed between Plaenert Drive and Beld Street until MFD can remove fire equipment from the roads.

According to the release, the fire started in a warehouse-style facility that contained more than 50 vehicles with pallets of tires. The building did not contain a sprinkler or fire alarm system. MFD said that there have been no injuries or deaths reported. A firefighter told NBC15 News everyone in the building was able to evacuate safely.

Officials also said that area businesses may be impacted while utility services are restricted as crews continue to fight the fire. MFD also added that people should still try to generally avoid the area as firefighters continue to extinguish the fire.

The three-alarm fire on Madison’s near west side Friday night prompted firefighters to work to contain the flames throughout the night. Anyone within a half-mile radius of the fire was advised to stay indoors and close their windows.

MFD spokesperson Cynthia Schuster explained there were multiple vehicles and discarded tires as well as other material inside a structure that led to the warning. She also noted a “large fuel source” in the building was helping feed the flames.

Her comments came during a news conference around 9:45 p.m., a little more than two hours after the first crews arrived. Schuster assured the community that firefighters were well supplied with water as they continued trying to contain the fire. She added MG&E crews responded as well and have secured the natural gas and electrical lines.

Crews are responding to a large fire on Park Street in Madison.
Crews are responding to a large fire on Park Street in Madison.(NBC15)
Crews are responding to a large fire on Park Street in Madison.
Crews are responding to a large fire on Park Street in Madison.(NBC15)

According to Schuster, emergency responders were first alerted to the fire around 7:30 p.m. when they began receiving reports of smoke and flames coming from the building at 1804 S. Park Street. Firefighters confirmed those reports as the pulled up to the scene and quickly declared it a two-alarm fire, effectively doubling the number of people responding.

The fire was upgraded around 9:30 p.m. At the scene, explosions could still be heard coming from the building around that time.

Large fire on the 1800 block of S. Park Street.
Large fire on the 1800 block of S. Park Street.(Randal Peckham)

Schuster said Friday night that firefighters had not determined in which building the fire started. No cause of the fire has been given.

Madison Police Department officers blocked off S. Park Street to help divert drivers away from the area.

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