Massive fire at Echo Lake Foods plant in Burlington contained
BURLINGTON (WITI) –The eight-alarm fire that broke out at Echo Lake Foods in Burlington Wednesday evening, January 30th has been contained. Fire officials are currently working on hot spots.
The massive fire broke out around 6 p.m. in the production area of the factory and prompted assistance from 88 agencies throughout southeast Wisconsin and northern Illinois. Wisconsin Emergency Management was also called to the scene to assist with resources.
The State Regional Hazardous Materials Response Team from Racine was also called to the scene to monitor air quality because the plant utilizes ammonia. Officials say there has been some minor release of ammonia residue from pipes — which has been contained.
Authorities say firefighters were having difficulty fighting this fire, saying this was likely due to burning oil. Additionally, the bitter temperatures caused some problems with equipment freezing up.
The Burlington Police Department evacuated ten homes and one apartment complex in the area due to smoke inhalation concerns and concerns about materials inside the plant. This consisted of approximately 50 people.
The Red Cross was at the scene Wednesday night. Crews opened a reception center for residents who were evacuated.
As of Thursday, January 31st all evacuated residents were allowed back into their homes. They are advised to keep their windows and doors closed due to smoke in the area.
FOX6 News spoke with Aurora Memorial Hospital’s spokesman who said a few people came into the hospital Wednesday evening complaining of smoke inhalation, but no other injuries have been reported at this time.
Echo Lake Foods manufactures bulk egg products for commercial use and employs approximately 300 people at their factory in Burlington. The factory is approximately 70,000 square feet. It is one of Burlington’s largest employers.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. The Wisconsin State Fire Marshall’s office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will be assisting in the fire investigation.
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