Echo Lake Foods employees stop by to see fire aftermath


by Laura Rodriguez

BURLINGTON-- There was not much cleanup today due to freezing temperatures, however, some employees did come back to their workplace parking lot to dig their cars out of the snow and figure out the next step.

"I moved to Burlington for this job, [if] there is no more job I think I'll find it in another town," said Elpidio Andrade, an Echo Lake Foods employee.

Andrade and his wife are both employees of the produce company. They are concerned about their employment situation because they have two children.

Jesus Murillo is also worried about paying the bills. He came back for his snow-covered car today, and also came back looking for answers. Murillo was inside the plant when the fire started.

"I still don't understand what happened, they just told us we had to get out of the factory. I didn't hear anything I just saw a lot of smoke," said Murillo.

Authorities met this afternoon at a church across the street from the produce plant. The Burlington City Administrator says cleanup will take a while because of the freezing temperatures.

"The entire wreckage is in-cased in ice and they are going to spend some time trying to get to where they think the cause is," said Kevin Lahner, the Burlington City Administrator.

Employees say they haven't been contacted by management, however, city officials have been communicating with the owners of Echo Lake Farm Produce.

"They've been very cooperative with us and so I think they are just still shell-shocked and trying to figure out what the next steps are," said Lahner.

The city administrator says it will take at least a week for investigators to make an official finding.

On Wednesday, February 6th employees are invited to an informational briefing to help with the transition.

"It's been an amazing outpouring of support from the community, I mean folks here are stepping up willing to help the workers in any way they can," said Lahner.

The employee briefings will take place at Veterans Terrace in Burlington at 10a.m., 11:30a.m., and 1:00p.m.


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