Courtesy of Fitchburg Fire Department:

While the Fitchburg Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at an apartment complex on Post Road on June 9, 2015,  the Dane County Communications Center advised firefighters that the fire alarm was activated due to a sprinkler alarm activation.

Upon arrival, firefighters found there had been a grease fire in one of the apartments, but confirmed there was no active fire at the time of their arrival thanks to extinguishment by a single fire sprinkler. The fire sprinkler system was shut off, the fire alarm reset, and additional crews assisted in the removal of water from the apartment.

The occupant was cooking on the stove and left the pan unattended, which resulted in a grease fire. After noticing the fire, the occupant threw water on the pan. When the water reached the grease fire, it reacted violently, causing the fire to travel across the ceiling and activate the one sprinkler located in the kitchen. The single sprinkler extinguished the fire and prevented it from spreading to the kitchen cabinets and other parts of the apartment.

At the time of the fire, four people were in the apartment unit, including at least one minor, but all the occupants were able to safely exit the building. No injuries, to either firefighters or civilians, were reported.

The cause of the fire was unattended cooking, which appeared to be accidental in nature. Damage was contained to the apartment where the fire occurred with some water in the apartment directly below. The estimated loss value was only $10,000.

The apartment building where this fire occurred installed a new fire alarm system in 2007 and sprinkler system in 2008. Both of these systems worked as designed and because of them, a potentially disastrous outcome was prevented.