Meeting Monday to determine whether Echo Lake Foods will rebuild

BURLINGTON (WITI) -- Following a massive fire last week, a meeting is planned for Monday, February 4th, to determine whether Echo Lake Foods will rebuild. Meanwhile, those in the community spoke out on Sunday, urging the company to stay in Burlington and rebuild.

Inside St. Mary's Immaculate Conception Parish in Burlington, it was a packed house for Sunday prayer. Sitting in the pews were those affected by an eight-alarm fire that destroyed a portion of the Echo Lake Foods plant. 

Among the Burlington residents, there was concern not just for the victims, but for the future.

"It's a local business that was a family business here. I think it means a lot to a lot of people," one resident said.

On Monday, members of the company will meet with local and state officials to start the discussion of whether or not to rebuild in Burlington. 

On Sunday, the plant was still smoking, although it appeared firefighters were going to let what is left burn itself out. At the scene, rubble remained buried in ice.

The Racine County Economic Development Corporation says they will be at the meeting Monday, armed with low-interest loans and other incentive offers to try to ensure the company, will once again be churning out food products.

Burlington residents say the fire that has put 300 workers out of a job is already taking its toll on the small city. There are efforts underway to help families affected and prayers that their jobs will be back soon. 

"We surely hope we can keep them here," one Burlington resident said.

Echo Lake Foods' general manager says the company's hope is to rebuild in Burlington, but says they will be exploring their options. 

A job fair is planned for Wednesday, February 6th for displaced workers. Briefings are scheduled at 10:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at Veterans Terrace, 589 Milwaukee Avenue, in Burlington, WI. 

CLICK HERE for more coverage on the fire at Echo Lake Foods via

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