4 fires at MSH being investigated
Wednesday, May 07, 2014 11:00 AM
Four separate fires caused minor damage to a vacant Madison State Hospital building Tuesday night.
SUSPICIOUS ORIGINS: Smoke comes from a second-floor window at Kemp Hall on the Madison State Hospital grounds. Firefighters are investigating the fire. (Staff photo by Renee Brucefirstname.lastname@example.org)
Madison fire crews responded to Kemp Hall around 6:20 p.m. after receiving reports of smoke coming from the building. Crews found fires in four rooms on the second and third floors on of the building, Madison Fire Chief Steve Horton said. The fires were contained to the eastern end of the building.
The cause of the fires have not been determined and remains under investigation. Horton said he would call the state fire marshal's office today to help with the investigation.
Kemp Hall - constructed in the 1950s as housing for nurses - has been vacant for years, Horton said. There was no electricity or natural gas service in the building.
The building doesn't have attic space between the floors, Horton said, which means the fire didn't travel through the ceiling to other rooms. Someone would have to go into each separate area to cause the fires, he said.
No one was found inside during a sweep of the building, but two people were seen leaving the Kemp Hall area by Madison State Hospital employees just minutes before smoke was seen coming from the building, Horton said.
A firefighter sustained minor injuries as a result of the fires. The firefighter was treated for exhaustion by King's Daughters' Health EMS crews and released at the scene.