Sunday, October 26, 2014

Burlington residents react to plant fire
by Chris Patterson

BURLINGTON -- Nearby homes were evacuated last night and those people were able to return home Thursday.

About 50 Residents living near the plant dispersed Wednesday night. Many told CBS 58 they went to the homes of friends or family to spend the night.

The discussion topics were simple last night and today for Burlington residents:  the massive fire at the well-known Echo Lake Foods plant.

A few who live close recall what happened. "You see the silos and stuff and then BOOM!  Three times we heard that," Nearby resident Richard Ehlen said.  "Wasn't too long and the police cars came by and he stopped, put on his green jacket, he was running house to house zig zagging down the street. Get out of dodge!"

Yvonne Braunschweig said, "Bright orange. I would say up to 120 feet in the air."

Shannon Arrieta feels for the workers. "There's not much to say. The flames were just pretty amazing."

Some workers said they're devastated by the news. One day they have a job - now their future is uncertain.

"It's a shame," Burlington resident  Scott Wasilevich said.  "There's going to be a lot of people out of work. I've lived over there for 25 years. It's going to be tough for them I suppose."

"Considering that we have close friends that know two or three of the managers, they'll do everything they can to take care of their employees and rebuild it as far as we know," Arrieta said. 

There will be some help for the employees from Racine County Workforce Development.  
They can come by Veterans Terrace in Burlington on Milwaukee Avenue next Wednesday  at 10:00 am to 3:00 get help with their next steps.