Improper disposal of smoking materials caused a garage fire Feb. 14 that residents attempted to fight themselves before calling 911.

Assistant Sun Prairie Fire Chief Bill Sullivan said early on Friday Feb. 14, 2020, Sun Prairie Fire Department (SPFD) personnel responded to the 2000 block of O’Keeffe Avenue for a reported extinguished fire in a residence.

Upon arrival, SPFD crews entered the dwelling unit with a fire extinguisher to investigate and were directed to the garage by the occupants.

Upon opening the door to the garage from the dwelling unit, crews found the garage full of smoke and a small fire still burning in the corner.

Sullivan said crews backed out, and requested additional resources to the scene. Crews re-entered the garage from the exterior overhead door and extinguished the fire.

The SPFD confirmed the fire was extinguished and began operations to remove smoke and toxic gases from the residence as well as another attached dwelling unit.

Sullivan said neighbors reported smelling smoke and knocked on the door of the fire unit. The occupants went to investigate and discovered a fire in their garage.

The occupants attempted to extinguish the fire themselves, Sullivan said, and they believed they had put the fire out and failed to immediately Call 911.

Sullivan said 911 was called approximately one hour after the initial discovery of the fire.

The cause of the fire was determined to be improper disposal of smoking materials.

Sun Prairie Police Department assisted with the investigation and Sun Prairie EMS was requested to the scene as a precautionary measure to confirm all occupants were OK.

Once it was determined that it the dwelling units were safe, the units were turned back over to the occupants.

The two-family residential unit was not protected with automatic fire sprinklers but did have working smoke alarms. The smoke alarms did not activate as the fire was contained to the garage, according to Sullivan.

The assistant fire chief said if you discover a fire:

• Immediately exit the building and Call 911

• Have an escape plan and Get Out and Stay Out.

• Be sure to Close Your Door to your bedroom when sleeping. The closed door between the garage and the dwelling unit prevented the fire from extending into the residence.

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