Watertown, WI – Sprinkler system halts nursing home fire in wing occupied by many nonambulatory patients

The Watertown Fire Department continues to investigate a structure fire that injured one resident at Dycora Transitional Health on Hospital Drive early Saturday morning. “We’re not exactly sure of the cause of it yet, possibly electrical,” fire Chief Greg Michalek said. “The fire burned the bed with the patient in it and part of the wall.”

Michalek said the blaze was contained to a single room of the 112-bed nursing home, but the wing it is located in also suffered water and smoke damage.

He acknowledged that the casualties could have been much worse if things had transpired differently because many of the residents in the wing could not walk by themselves. Thankfully, firefighters along with a number of police officers and Dycora personnel were able to evacuate the 20 patients in the affected wing.

“Most of the people in that wing were nonambulatory,” Michalek said. “They had to be taken out in wheelchairs. The sprinkler system activated and put the fire out but there was a lot of smoke.”

A call to Dycora’s administrator was not returned before the Daily Times press time this morning.

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