Firefighters from the South Shore Fire Department were among the 93 fire departments that responded to a nine-alarm fire in the City of Burlington Wednesday night, according to our media partners at Channel 12.
The Burlington Fire Department initially responded to the fire at 6:05 p.m. at Echo Lake Foods, 33102 S Honey Lake Rd. After arriving, they found a “significant fire” and called neighboring departments to help battle the blaze.
However, “about 50 people in the area -- 10 homes and one apartment building -- were evacuated as a precaution because of the chemicals in the plant and the heavy smoke, but no further evacuations were expected.”
According to the story:
Burlington Mayor Robert Miller said Thursday afternoon that the fire was out except for a few hot spots. Miller said the fire began in a production area of the plant. City fire crews discovered a significant fire and immediately called for mutual aid. He also said the plant has been expanded a few times, leading to a "honeycomb" of additions that presents a challenge to firefighters.
No one was injured during the fire.
But, according to a story by the Burlington Standard Press, two people did show up to the emergency room at Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington for treatment of smoke inhalation.
In total, over 300 law enforcement, fire and rescue personnel assisted in putting out the fire from Racine, Walworth, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Dane and several other counties in Illinois responded to the blaze. In Racine County, the City of Burlington, Town of Burlington, Rochester, Raymond, Union Grove-Yorkville, Kansasville, Tichigan, Wind Lake, Waterford, South Shore and City of Racine fire departments responded.
Jeffrey Buenger, battalion chief of the Caledonia Fire Department, said their department was not called to the fire because they aren’t on the box alarm card list for the Town of Burlington.
“A lot of these cards were developed when the Village was a Town, and they haven’t been updated,” Buenger said. “Ourselves and Racine were the last to join the box alarm system.”
The Racine Hazardous Materials Unit monitored air quality and the Southeast Wisconsin Incident Command Management Team also provided assistance, according to a press release by the Burlington Fire Department.
Echo Lake Produce employs 300 people and is one of the largest employers in Burlington. They were told not to come to work Thursday morning and that the company would contact them with more information.
Officials with the Burlington Fire Department have not determined the cause of the fire. However, it is still under investigation with the help of the Wisconsin State Fire Marshall’s office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
There are no damage loss estimates at this time.