Tuesday night's fire at a plastics plant in Ft. Atkinson has left about 80 people without work. Investigators believe they know where the fire started but have not yet determined a cause.
The day after a stubborn fire at Nasco International, a steady stream of cars trickled past the 15, 000 square foot building, charred and waterlogged.
"It sounded pretty bad ... just came to look to see what happened," passerby Robert Moore of Ft. Atkinson says.
What happened here around 6:15 last night prompted nearly a dozen fire departments to respond ...
"I have never seen such black smoke in my life," Andy White says of the fire he watched from across the street.
White watched the fire from Rock River Lanes ...
"I was behind the bar, I just happened to turn around and I saw red lights go by side door over there," White says.
Ft. Atkinson's fire chief says the fire broke out in an area used to make plastics.
"They're extremely flammable and combustible in this process that they use," Tom Emrick says.
Firefighters cleared the scene at about two o'clock Wednesday morning.
"It is a significant fire for community this size," Emrick says.
The company's president says the damage leaves about 82 people without work.
"Our plastics plant is not back to work but hopefully ... get some back to work tomorrow if not all, we'll see," Phil Niemeyer says.
"Any time anything happens to a big business in Ft. Atkinson ... interested 'cause it's a small town, they employ a lot of people," Moore says.
"One of them didn't know what he was gonna do ... make payments on his car and his house and all of that," White says.
The company's president hopes to move materials in a warehouse on the property to another location ...
That could make room to get operations up and running, and workers back on the job.
"I'm very concerned about getting our customers served and our employees back to work," Niemeyer says.
No one was injured in the fire.
Nasco makes more than 60, 000 products for education, healthcare, agriculture and industry.
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