CITY OF BURLINGTON — Noises were reportedly coming from the Gleason Redi-Mix factory the night before and the morning that the facility burned down, according to the City of Burlington Fire Department.
The Fire Department reported that multiple individuals came forward after the fire, stating they had heard “loud bangs” and “explosions” coming from the plant before the fire was officially reported, according to a City of Burlington Fire Department release issued Friday.
The noises, the release said, were likely the result of the vehicles’ tires exploding as the fire reached them.
“The CBFD would like to take this opportunity to remind the public to immediately report any suspicious activity to law enforcement and/or fire and rescue authorities,” the release stated.
As of Friday, the origin and cause of the fire remain under investigation.
Back to business
The day after the fire Charlie Anderson, operations manager for Gleason Redi-Mix, said everyone was back to work at the Burlington factory.
Spare trucks were brought in from other locations to replace those that were lost in the fire. The rest of the factory is intact aside from the building that housed 17 trucks.
“We’re moving forward and hope to keep going,” Anderson said.
A total loss
The Burlington cement factory was declared a total loss after a five-alarm fire Wednesday caused estimated damage to the plant in excess of $4 million to $5 million.
At 5:33 a.m. Wednesday, the call came in for a structure fire at 151 Longmeadow Drive, Burlington, according to City of Burlington Fire Chief Alan Babe.
The fire reportedly started in a Gleason Redi-Mix building that housed about 13 cement trucks, conveyor trucks and dump trucks.
CBFD crews arrived on the scene within minutes and reported heavy smoke showing from the structure’s exterior and confirmed no one was inside the building.
Fire crews entered at multiple points of the building and reported heavy fire and smoky conditions, the release said. Due to the fire’s intensity, it was determined unsafe to enter the building.
From outside the building, fire crews used hose lines and aerial apparatus to fight the blaze.
A Mutual Aid Box Alarm System box was triggered and multiple agencies assisted, including the City of Burlington Police Department, Town of Burlington, Waterford and South Shore fire departments, Racine Fire Bells, Rochester and Tichigan volunteer fire companies, Burlington Rescue Squad and the Racine County Fire Investigation Task Force and We Energies.
Lake Geneva, Bristol, City of Delavan, Randall, Bloomfield-Genoa City, Salem Lakes, Vernon, Paris, Antioch and Lyons Township fire departments, Medix and Paratech Ambulance, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin State Fire Marshal’s Office also responded.
As of 7:40 a.m. Wednesday, the fire was out, Babe said. No injuries were reported.