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UPDATE: Damage from Echo Lake Fire Pegged at $40 million

UPDATED Monday, March 11, 2013 --- 9:52 a.m.

BURLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- A fire at a Burlington food-processing plant in January caused damage worth an estimated $40 million.

A Journal Times of Racine report says the fire occurred in an older part of the Echo Lake Foods building that was built before sprinklers were required.

A Burlington Fire Department incident report says the company was in full compliance with state code. It says the parts of the 70,000-square-foot building built after the 1940s were properly protected by a sprinkler system.

No one was hurt in the Jan. 30 fire. The blaze destroyed about one-third of the plant, and firefighters from eight departments worked for more than 35 hours to put it out.

The company says it will rebuild on site. No timetable has been set.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Tuesday, February 5, 2013 --- 4:30 p.m.

BURLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- Burlington Mayor Bob Miller says officials from the Echo Lake Foods egg processing plant would like to rebuild at their current site after last week's fire.

Miller says he met Monday with Echo Lake Foods owners and management as well as with officials from the state and Racine County.

He tells The Journal Times that 60 percent of the plant is still standing and usable.

The mayor says no timeline for rebuilding has been set.

About 300 workers were displaced after a fire broke out last Wednesday at the plant. The fire escalated to eight alarms, requiring fire assistance from across southeast Wisconsin as well as northern Illinois.

An investigation by the state fire marshal's office found no criminal intent, but the fire's cause and origin remain under investigation.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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UPDATED Thursday, January 31, 2013 --- 12:44 p.m.

BURLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- A fire at a food processing plant in southeastern Wisconsin has been contained. And, local residents who'd been evacuated have been allowed to return home.

The fire broke out Wednesday evening at the Echo Lake Foods plant in Burlington. Police evacuated about 50 people who live near the plant, and they were allowed to return home Thursday morning.

No injuries have been reported.

Burlington Mayor Bob Miller says hazardous-materials handlers have secured the area where chemical tanks are stored. State emergency officials say there was a "minor release" of ammonia residue from pipes, and they're monitoring air quality.

Firefighters from more than 80 fire departments from southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois took turns fighting the raging blaze. Fire officials say the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Updated Thursday January 31, 2013 -- 6:12 a.m.

BURLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- More than 80 fire departments are battling an eight-alarm fire at a factory in southeastern Wisconsin.

The fire at the Echo Lake Foods processing plant in Burlington has been raging since 6 p.m. Wednesday. Burlington Mayor Bob Miller says the plant was evacuated safely. He says there are no injuries either to employees or firefighters at this point.

At an early morning news conference Thursday, Miller said police have evacuated 10 homes in the area and one apartment building.

Hazardous materials handlers are at the scene because the plant has ammonia and liquid oxygen tanks. Miller says the area where the hazardous materials are stored has been secured.

With temperatures around 15 above, firefighters from a number of area counties are being rotated in to fight the fire.

Echo Lakes Foods produces eggs and egg products, as well as other breakfast products.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 --- 11:20 p.m.

BURLINGTON, Wis. (AP) -- Crews are battling a six-alarm fire at a food plant in Burlington.

The fire broke out just after 6 p.m. Wednesday at Echo Lake Farm Produce.

The Journal Times reports some residents in nearby homes are being evacuated because of heavy smoke. A spokesman for Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington says the hospital is treating a couple of walk-in patients for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters from Burlington and other area departments were called to the scene.

Echo Lake Farm Produce makes egg products and breakfast-style entrees.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


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