Fire spreads from a pickup truck to a house at 727 Saddle Tree Lane Friday, heavily damaging the truck and home. (Courier staff photo by Mark Campbell)
Fire spreads from a pickup truck to a house at 727 Saddle Tree Lane Friday, heavily damaging the truck and home. (Courier staff photo by Mark Campbell)
Several Madison Fire Department companies responded to a vehicle fire that quickly spread to a nearby residence in the 700 block of Saddle Tree Lane on Friday.

The fire destroyed the truck and caused heavy damage to the home but all four occupants escaped injury when they were able to flee the structure before the blaze engulfed the home.

Firefighters were dispatched to 727 Saddle Tree Lane at 5:50 p.m. when the blaze apparently started in a Ford F-150 pickup truck parked in the driveway beside the house and spread to a nearby wall and roof of the home.

“I don’t know what happened. I heard a loud boom and opened my bedroom door and all I saw was red,” said the resident Allie Buchanan. “Me and my daughter came out the kitchen door and I heard my mom in the house yelling for me. She ran through the front door and into my room, which is in the back of the house, and got my son. I had my one-year-old and I realized if I went to the back door I could make it. They made it out the front.”

Between Buchanan and her mother, all four escaped the blaze as well as the family dog, who bolted out the front door as Buchanan’s mom entered the residence.

According to a post by the Madison Fire Department, the first units arriving at the scene quickly upgraded the incident to a working structure fire.

“The vehicle that was originally reported on fire was parked very close to the residence,” the MFD post noted. “The vehicle and residence sustained heavy fire damage. All of the occupants were able to exit the structure without harm. The fire was extinguished rather quickly. But due to building construction of several roof alterations and the insulation type the time on scene was lengthy to ensure the fire damage was completely extinguished.”

Battling the blaze was also complicated by the narrow width of Saddle Tree Lane, which is located between Walnut and East streets near Royer Corporation.

“Saddle Tree Lane is a narrow lane with several obstacles to maneuver large fire apparatus safely,” the MFD post said. “There were some neighbors who assisted the firefighters by dragging hoses and helping get suppression efforts underway. The Madison Fire Department and the residents were grateful for the assistance.”

With residents and firefighters working together enough hose and water was delivered to knock down the blaze and bring the fire under control. Firefighters then spent several minutes searching for hot spots and a few hours at the scene wrapping up.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Madison Fire Department. Buchanan said the truck had not been driven or run for several hours prior to the incident.

The emergency sirens and large plume of smoke quickly drew onlookers from nearby neighborhoods with vehicles and golf carts stopping to watch and video the blaze from the higher ground on East Street and others walking into the area from neighborhoods to the west. At least two fire companies arrived at the scene on East Street above the property, but the fire was controlled from street level without those pumpers putting water on the blaze.

The front tires of the pickup blew from the heat before the fire could be brought under control. After the flames were doused, firefighters made a walk-through of the interior and vented the roof while making sure the blaze was fully extinguished.

A volunteer firefighter with the Brooksburg/Milton Township Fire Department herself, Buchanan said she knew to waste no time getting out of the residence and to not go back into the structure, especially after she saw that her mother had cleared the home with her other son.

The house actually belongs to Buchanan’s uncle, Bob Biesen. A large garage with a second story apartment located behind the house escaped the fire and no other nearby residences were involved.