ST. ANNA, WIS - One firefighter from the St. Anna Fire Department is dead andeight others injured after an explosion at a factory.
Crews were called to the scene of a dumpster fire at BremerManufacturing in St. Anna after a patrol man noticed a fire around7:20 Tuesday night.
Something in the dumpster exploded while firefighters wereworking to put out the fire. The cause of the explosion is unknownat this time.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, State Marshals andthe Calumet Co. Sheriff’s Department are investigating.
Calumet County Sheriff Jerry Pagel described the scene Tuesdaynight as "A routine fire call, I guess you could call it, whichturned deadly."
After the Calumet County patrol officer saw the dumpster firenear Bremer Manufacturing he contacted the St. Anna Volunteer FireDepartment.
"We do not know what caused the fire in the first place," saidPagel. "It was in some 55 gallon barrels which were near thedumpster or inside the dumpster and as the firemen were trying toextinguish the fire the explosion occurred."
Bremer president Tom Dolack told FOX 11 Wednesday the accidenthappened at about 7:30 p.m. in a waste dumpster containingaluminum. No one from the company was there at the time. The plantwas still closed as of midday Wednesday.
One man told FOX 11 he was in New Holstein, five miles away, andheard the blast.
Police aren't saying much about the firefighter who died. Butthey said he was 33-years-old, and will be missed by thedepartment.
"They're in a state of shock as you can fully imagine," saidPagel. "And they'll be in mourning for a period of time."
Police continue to investigate and look for answers regardingthe cause of the fire and the explosion.
"I cannot recall the last time a fireman was killed in the lineof duty here in Calumet County," said Pagel. "These individuals doa great job as volunteer firemen. They probably have as muchtraining as your full time firemen and they are required to havethe necessary training. But any time they respond to a call, thatthreat is always there. And unfortunately this is an incident whenan individual had to lose their life."
Police are not yet releasing names of those involved. SheriffPagel says the fire was contained to the Bremer Manufacturingparking lot.
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