Updated: Wednesday, 30 Dec 2009, 2:30 PM CST
Published : Tuesday, 29 Dec 2009, 9:23 PM CST
ST. ANNA, WIS - One firefighter from the St. Anna Fire Department is dead and eight others injured after an explosion at a factory.
Crews were called to the scene of a dumpster fire at Bremer Manufacturing in St. Anna after a patrol man noticed a fire around 7:20 Tuesday night.
Something in the dumpster exploded while firefighters were working to put out the fire. The cause of the explosion is unknown at this time.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, State Marshals and the Calumet Co. Sheriff’s Department are investigating.
Calumet County Sheriff Jerry Pagel described the scene Tuesday night as "A routine fire call, I guess you could call it, which turned deadly."
After the Calumet County patrol officer saw the dumpster fire near Bremer Manufacturing he contacted the St. Anna Volunteer Fire Department.
"We do not know what caused the fire in the first place," said Pagel. "It was in some 55 gallon barrels which were near the dumpster or inside the dumpster and as the firemen were trying to extinguish the fire the explosion occurred."
Bremer president Tom Dolack told FOX 11 Wednesday the accident happened at about 7:30 p.m. in a waste dumpster containing aluminum. No one from the company was there at the time. The plant was still closed as of midday Wednesday.
One man told FOX 11 he was in New Holstein, five miles away, and heard the blast.
Police aren't saying much about the firefighter who died. But they said he was 33-years-old, and will be missed by the department.
"They're in a state of shock as you can fully imagine," said Pagel. "And they'll be in mourning for a period of time."
Police continue to investigate and look for answers regarding the cause of the fire and the explosion.
"I cannot recall the last time a fireman was killed in the line of duty here in Calumet County," said Pagel. "These individuals do a great job as volunteer firemen. They probably have as much training as your full time firemen and they are required to have the necessary training. But any time they respond to a call, that threat is always there. And unfortunately this is an incident when an individual had to lose their life."
Police are not yet releasing names of those involved. Sheriff
Pagel says the fire was contained to the Bremer Manufacturing