Burlington begins to pick up the pieces after massive fire

CREATED Feb 1, 2013

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BURLINGTON - Firefighters were out at the scene early Friday morning putting out any hotspots. But now that fire is out, the investigation begins into what started the Echo Lake Foods fire.

Just hours after putting out any last minutes hotspots, firefighters got a closer look at what's left of the Echo Lake Foods plant. Cars around the building were encased in ice. Firefighters from all over Wisconsin and Illinois spent more than 14 hours pouring water onto the burning building.

“We are very fortunate that a small community like Burlington can call on essentially the resources of the entire state,” said Kevin Lahner, the Burlington City Administrator.

And now the state fire marshal, and possibly the federal government, too are now looking into the cause of the fire. kevin Lahner has been told the fire started in the production area of the plant.

“My understanding is it was in the roof system for a very long time,” said Lahner.

Lahner is also planning to meet with Echo Lake Foods, the county and the state to talk about resources to rebuild one of the city's largest employer.

“If they don't, it will be a major loss of an employer, and we are really hoping that they do choose to rebuild,” Lahner added.

But at this point, he said the company is just trying to take things day-by-day.

“They're still evaluating their options,” Lahner said. “Obviously, they're still in recovery mode right now."

Lahner said they don't know exactly when investigators will have an exact cause for this fire.