"It's just nerve-wracking:" 25 senior citizens among those evacuating ahead of Beaver Dam planned burn

NOW: “It’s just nerve-wracking:“ 25 senior citizens among those evacuating ahead of Beaver Dam planned burn


BEAVER DAM, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Residents in Beaver Dam are preparing to evacuate ahead of Thursday's planned burn.

Cranes have been placing shipping containers meant to block surrounding buildings. One of those buildings is the Prairie Ridge Assisted Living where 25 senior citizens will be evacuating.

"It's a mess. It's just nerve-wracking." Vickie Lundy will load onto a bus Thursday to spend the day at another retirement home 15 miles away. While she's gone, the apartment building next door will be intentionally burned down and that terrifies her.

"What if the wind acts up or something and blows this way," Vickie said.

The Beaver Dam Fire Chief says it needs to be done to eliminate the danger of the explosives still inside.

"That's going to be allowed to burn freely because it's the heat that degrades the explosive material," said Beaver Dam Fire Chief Al Mannell.

Before the burn begins, Mark Forster is in charge of shepherding Vickie and everyone else in the home to safety.

"You don't prepare for explosives this close to your business, your property," said Prairie Ridge Executive Director Mark Forster.

Investigators could not say what was inside Brandon Morrow's apartment beyond that they were volatile, unstable chemicals. Whatever's in there, it's enough that they're convinced the man was making a bomb.

"Our sole purpose has been to render this place safe so hopefully we can get over that and start to get answers," said Police Chief Kreuziger.

The burn will go as long as it needs to on Thursday. There will be monitoring devices to ensure it's safe to return to the evacuation area.

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