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Chief breaks down all the backup for Burlington fire

BURLINGTON (WITI) — It’s finally out. That’s what firefighters here are hoping after returning Saturday, February 2nd to the Echo Lake Foods plant. They had to put out another round of hot spots that had flared up.

“Those are typical in any fire of this nature,” said Burlington Fire Chief Richard Lodle, “We are hopeful at this point that we’ve gotten the hot spots as much as we’re gonna be able to.”

Burlington was able to handle Saturday’s work alone. It was a stark contrast to Wednesday night and Thursday morning when more than 80 different fire departments responded to the massive blaze.

“We have a system called MABAS – Mutual Aid Box Alarm System,” Lodle said, “It’s designed to pre-plan sources that would be needed from a smaller incident up to something of this nature.”

EMS Convention shows off new tools, apps

MILWAUKEE (WITI) –  Chris cook knows a thing or two about saving lives.  As a registered nurse for 22 years, and an army paramedic for 13 years, he’s had some unique patients.

” I had an opportunity to take care of Saddam Hussein, so that was quite interesting,” says Cook.
While serving in Iraq, his skills helped save a very unexpected life, his own. 

“On September,11th 2004, I was actually wounded in a vehicle born explosion just outside of Baghdad,” says Cook.

Cook has recovered well, and is now passing lessons learned in war, to those who may save your life here at home.

“We’ve been proactive in the state and at least make EMS providers and law enforcement aware of tactical EM,” says Cook.

26-hundred emergency services personnel from across Wisconsin are packing conference rooms at the delta center, as part of their annual conference.

Echo Lake Foods gen. manager thankful for no injuries in massive fire

BURLINGTON (WITI) — Fire crews were back at the Echo Lake Foods plant in Burlington for a half-hour Friday evening, putting out a hot spot after finally putting the massive blaze out earlier in the day. 

Echo Lake Foods general manager Jerry Warntjes was at the plant on Friday.  He says the fire was an accident.

“We think we know,” Warntjes said.  “I have a very strong opinion what happened.  But I’ll reserve comment on that until next week on that.”

Warntjes says a maintenance manager at the plant initially tried putting out the blaze out with a fire extinguisher.  When that did not work, employees called 911 and started to evacuate.  Orange wind socks directed the employees upwind from the fire, and a head count revealed that everyone had made it out of the plant.

Racine Co. to help workers of Echo Lake Foods

RACINE CO. (WITI) – The Racine County Workforce Development Center, in partnership with the State Department of Workforce Development Center, will offer an Informational Briefing to the Echo Lake Foods’ workforce facing job loss due to the massive fire at the Echo Lake Foods facility in Burlington, WI. 

All Echo Lake employees are invited to one of three Informational Briefings to be held on Wednesday, February 6, 2013. 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.  The purpose of these Informational Briefings is to provide Echo Lake employees with transition services ranging from unemployment insurance and job search assistance to information on local community resources. 

Bi-lingual staff will be available to assist Spanish speaking workers and the following additional services will be available:

Cleanup begins at Echo Lake Foods plant in Burlington

BURLINGTON (WITI) — After more than 36 hours, the massive fire at the Echo Lake Foods plant in Burlington is officially out as of 9 a.m. Friday, February 1st.  The fire trucks are all gone. But in their place are utility crews.

The eight-alarm fire broke out on Wednesday evening, January 30th and left 300 without work. A fireball of flames filled the night sky in Burlington on Wednesday night, as second shift workers ran to safety. The fire burned about 20,000 square feet of the 70,000 square foot plant.

murilloStanding just feet away from the pile of rubble, Echo Lake Foods employee Jesus Murillo has a big problem. His car is encased in ice. Murillo’s solution includes a shovel and a lot of persistence.

Walmart: What Should the Village Do?

There's been controversy about Walmart coming to town, ever since the retail giant announced it was looking at Caledonia. 

In the latest development, the plans which outline what future use is appropriate in different parts of the village don't outline the same uses for the proposed Walmart site at the intersection of North Green Bay and 4 Mile roads. 

On Wednesday, the village's Planning Commission said they need to get things in line, a process that could require bringing in a planner and forming a committee to study the issue.

Hundreds without work after fire destroys part of Echo Lake Foods

BURLINGTON (WITI) — After a massive fire destroyed part of the Echo Lake Foods plant in Burlington, Wisconsin on Wednesday evening, hundreds are without work.

Early in her shift Wednesday night, Paul Rein was working at the Echo Lake Foods plant in Burlington when an urgent announcement was made inside the plant. Then, co-workers began to react.

“It almost sounded like someone was really desperate to get our plant manager’s attention. He just looked at all of us. I was working on the line there, and said ‘get out, get out now,’” Rein said.

Rein and about 50 other co-workers were able to get out of the building safely, but said they were unsure of what was happening.

Outside, fire lit up the dark sky as flames were burning about 20,000 square feet of the 70,000 square foot plant, and eventually firefighters from 88 different departments in Wisconsin and Illinois were fighting this fire.