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MADISON,
Wis. - An estimate of damage
caused by east Madison building fire was
not yet available Satruday but the fire remained in control as firefighters
remained at the scene overnight, officials said.

Madison Fire
Department spokeswoman Lori Wirth said crews had stayed watch overnight to
battle hot spots at a the site where an apartment building under construction
on Apollo Way caught fire Friday night.

The fire was initially
reported by drivers on Interstate 90 who saw smoke and flames at about 7:30
p.m., Wirth said.

Firefighters en route
to the site saw smoke and flames come from the back side of the building on the
third and fourth floors from a half mile away, according to a release.

Heat from the fire
caused fire crews to move back from the building, as heat was melting plastic
on the fire engine and breaking window glass.

"Because the
building was under construction with no occupants ... crews adopted a defensive
strategy to protect the occupied dwellings," Wirth said.

Heat from the fire
caused damage to houses nearby, melting siding and cracking windows.
Firefighters hosed the buildings with water to cool them and prevent structural
damage, according to the fire department.

The blaze was visible
from miles away and falling debris caused spot fires across the interstate. The
911 center continued to receive reports of intense heat, heavy smoke, falling
debris and grass fires along the interstate and areas of the east side up to an
hour after the initial call.

Crews had the fire
under control by 9:37 p.m. but remained on Apollo Way to maintain control.
Pallets of building materials across the estimated two-acre fire continued to
smolder Saturday, fire officials said.

Eleven Madison fire
crews responded to the fire. Two crews stayed at the site overnight and were
relieved by another crew Saturday morning.

The building is owned
by FMI Development. In a statement, Dan Schmidt, a manager at FMI, said the
group is thankful no one was injured in the blaze.

"We are obviously
disappointed," Schmidt said. "But (we) are thankful for the great
support we have already received."

He said FMI plans to
rebuild.

Wirth said the cause
of the fire remains under investigation. Fire investigators are working with
police and investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, a common practice at large fire
scene. Damages have not yet been calculated.

Wirth said fire
investigators were interested in photos or videos from the public that were
taken of the fire scene before crews arrived Friday. Anyone with relevant media
can call 608-266-4420. The department said it also planned a website where the
public could submit photos or video.

































Viewers shared images
of the flames and smoke, which could be seen from downtown Madison.

Massive fire breaks out on Madison's east side

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