A large fire broke out just after 6PM last night at the Echo Lake Foods facility at 33102 South Honey Lake Road in Burlington, WI.

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The fire building was one of a series of six buildings inter-connected at the facility that processes the following according to the company website:

We are passionate in our commitment to producing the best quality egg products and breakfast-style entrees.

As such, the facility has large amount of ammonia and liquid oxygen. As of 5AM Friday, (11 hours into the incident), NBC TMJ4 reported the following:

BURLINGTON – An eight-alarm fire has gone into its 13th hour of burning out of control Thursday morning at the Echo Lake Foods processing plant in Burlington.

“There still is active fire.  It is not contained at this point,” said Fire Chief Richard Lodle during a 5 a.m. news conference Thursday which aired live on TODAY’S TMJ4.

More than 80 fire departments and 200 firefighters have given their assistance to the Burlington Fire Department.

The Burlington Police Department evacuated 10 homes and an apartment building, assisting about 50 people.

The fire broke out just after 6 p.m. Wednesday, and is at 33102 N. Honey Lake Road in Burlington, the site of Echo Lake Foods.

“The fire department discovered a significant fire upon arrival,” said Miller.

“The plant was successfully evacuated.  There were no injuries to employees or, so far, to any firefighters.”

Hazardous materials teams came on scene because of ammonia and liquid oxygen tanks.

Meanwhile, Burlington’s fire chief is rotating in hundreds of firefighters from around southeastern Wisconsin, as far away as Milwaukee County.

“That’s why the large number of departments that we have called in, the large number of personnel that we’ve had…We’re not rotating out and rotating back in.  When you rotate out, you go home.”

He also said they have not have much opportunity to enter the building and fight the fire from inside.

“The majority has been on a defensive mode.  At this point, we’re attempting to do an interior attack, if we can get crews in.”

The company, founded in 1941, produces eggs and egg products, as well as other breakfast products. The factory has a long history in the Burlington area.

“This will affect the city greatly.  We will attempt to help them rebuild and re-open the plant as soon as possible,” said Miller during the news conference.

“One of the largest employers…it’s going to be a loss of 300 jobs for a while.”

The complete article with photos is HERE.

The fire went to a 5th Alarm (as high as MABAS Alarms are rated) and then 8 separate inter-divisional alarms were requested with strike teams or task forces requested from other MABAS Divisions in Wisconsin and Illinois. (some of the MABAS Divisions that responded include 101, 102, 106, 4, 5)

Tim Olk and Larry Shapiro went to the incident roughly four hours after the initial alarm and have a video and images from the scene that will be posted later. The size of the scene, the bitter cold weather, and the hazardous smoke restricted their access to two of the four sectors.

The incident is located in an area that required tankers to shuttle water to portable tanks, where engines drafted to feed the multiple master streams. Some of the streams had to shutdown fairly often as the three or four portable tanks that were inter-connected would be depleted before they could be refilled. There were at least three such water supply sectors being managed at the fire scene. Eventually, a drafting operation was setup from Echo Lake along Milwaukee Avenue. Two engines and a quint worked to complete this task for engines supplying a master stream in Sector D.

The Chicago Tribune has an article HERE.

ABC news has an article HERE.

MyRacineCounty.com has an article.

Fox6now.com has an article with video.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online has an article with a great overhead image from this morning.