The fire reportedly caught near the base of the Sigma Phi Epsilon house on 237 Langdon St. around 11:30 p.m. and eventually engulfed much of the third floor.
The Madison Fire Department said in a statement Tuesday three firefighters suffered minor injuries, including burns, dehydration and muscle strain. Two were transported to the University of Wisconsin Hospital and the other was taken to Meriter Hospital.
MFD spokesperson Bernadette Galvez said the house was destroyed, but there appeared to be no damage to surrounding buildings. Only the two adjacent buildings were evacuated.
Authorities would not disclose a cause but said the 25 residents made it out of the house safely.
According to a SigEp member, a cigarette in a dumpster caused the fire. Another SigEp member confirmed the fire started at the ground level and then erupted up to upper floors.
A police officer who saw the fire at the back of the house while on patrol notified MFD of the blaze at 11:41 p.m.
Neighbors gathered outside to try to figure out what was going on, and a Madison Metro bus arrived on the scene to hold displaced fraternity members.
According to a MFD statement, the fire was extinguished at 2:33 a.m. Due to threat of a collapse, firefighters inside were evacuated as the fire spread throughout the building.
Ryan Sugden, vice president of the Sigma Phi Epsilon alumni board, said there were 25 people in the house at the time the fire started, and they are all safe. Most of the possessions of the members are gone, he added.
UW has given SigEp members $500 crisis loans to take care of immediate needs.
Sugden called the support of the Offices of the Dean of Students “incredible,” and added half of the frat members had finals Tuesday and have contacted their professors.
Ald. Eli Judge, District 8, said places to sleep have been found for all the fraternity members.
Galvez said the Madison water utility provided extra pressure to aid in the fire fighting, but no additional resources are being brought in. Fourteen rigs and 48 personnel, as well as the American Red Cross, were at the scene, she added.
The intersection of State and Gilman streets was flooded as a result of firefighters’ efforts to stop the blaze.
The same house burned in 1999 as well, causing $500,000 in damage. MFD estimated $750,000 in damages in Tuesday’s fire.
– Pedro Oliveira Jr., Kevin Bargnes and Carl Jaeger contributed to this report.