Thu January 31, 2013
8-Alarm Fire At Food Processing Plant Contained
Firefighters have contained a blaze that caused heavy damage to a food manufacturing plant in Burlington.
Firefighters are now tending to hot spots at Echo Lake Foods, one of the largest employers in Burlington. It’s calmer now than it was last night, when fire fighters and rescue personnel from eight Wisconsin counties, and two Illinois counties, arrived at the scene to help fight the blaze in very cold conditions. Burlington City administrator Kevin Lahner says there has been no word on what caused the fire, and no damage estimates. The 70,000 square foot factory was not a total loss. While the manufacturing area is destroyed, Lahner says other parts of the facility are still standing. He says no one was hurt: a “very nice surprise. We are very, very fortunate that there were no injuries to employees or the emergency personnel, especially considering the conditions the fire was fought in.”
Around 50 area residents were evacuated from their homes over concerns that ammonia from the factory was released; they have since returned. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will be in Burlington next Wednesday to assist the 300 employees who are, for now, without a place to work. Echo Lake Foods processes eggs, and egg products, and other breakfast foods.