At 2:30AM the morning of Feb. 27, 1904, a gas leak sparked a raging fire in our state capitol building.
Luckily, the building had been equipped with a state-of-the-art firefighting system, which surely would’ve aced its singular duty … had the water reservoir at UW Madison not been empty. Overwhelmed, Madison firefighters called in reinforcements from Milwaukee. However, by the time they arrived, their firefighting equipment had frozen.
In the end, little survived the fire. The city could’ve filed an insurance claim on the entire building, had they not voted to cancel the policy five weeks prior.