At approximately 8:20 p.m. on Saturday, August 10, 2013 the Dane County Public Safety Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call from a residence on Jacquelyn Drive in the City of Fitchburg reporting their neighbor’s house was on fire. Subsequent 9-1-1 calls began to come in reporting heavy smoke and flames visible. The City of Fitchburg Fire Department, Fitch-Rona EMS, and automatic aid from the Town of Madison Fire Department was dispatched and arrived on scene within 4-minutes.
The actual address was 2741 Jacquelyn Drive. The home is owned by Richard and Mary Ellen Tremelling who both live and operate a home day care business at the address.
First arriving crews confirmed heavy smoke issuing from the roof, and observed fire had burned through a portion of the front wall of the home and had extended up into the attic. There was one car in the driveway and a second car in the garage, and the whereabouts of the occupants was not known. Fire crews immediately began a joint effort to contain the fire and rapidly search the structure to determine if anyone was trapped inside. Fitchburg Police worked with neighbors in an attempt to contact the family if they were not home; and Paramedics from Fitch-Rona EMS set up in case a victim was located.
Fire crews had the fire in a first floor bedroom and the attic contained in approximately 15 minutes; and search crews confirmed no one was trapped or in the structure.
Fitchburg Police were successful in locating the owners who were in central Illinois at a Conference. The property owners returned to Fitchburg overnight and are currently staying with relatives.
The Verona Fire Department moved a unit to Fitchburg to cover in the event of any additional emergency calls while Fitchburg and Town units were still at the Jacquelyn incident.
The fire did extensive damage to the bedroom and attic areas of the home, and there was significant heat and smoke damage to the remained of the home. The structure is valued at $178,200, and damage estimates are expected to be high.
The joint Fitchburg Fire-Fitchburg Police Fire Investigation Team worked overnight and confirmed the fire started in a front bedroom, although the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The Fire Department left a fire-watch crew at the home overnight, and worked with the owner’s insurance carrier to coordinate board-up of the structure before heavy rains moved in Sunday morning.
This building was equipped with smoke detectors that were sounding when fire crews arrived; but was not equipped with residential automatic fire sprinklers.