(Beaver Dam) The city of Beaver Dam has declared a State of Emergency for the Village Glen Apartment building where a deadly explosion claimed one life on Monday. Dodge County Emergency Management Director Amy Nehls says the declaration means that the city will be able to more easily obtain state resources, opening channels for state and local agencies to work together.
Officials announced on Thursday that building 109 will be demolished because of concerns about remnant explosives that may still be inside the entire building along with structural concerns. A timetable on the removal of the building is expected to be announced on Monday. One possible method being considered is a controlled burn.
Police Chief John Kreuziger told us Friday that the residents of building 109 will not be allowed back inside to collect personal belongings. He says it was being considered but there was a small explosion early Thursday afternoon that forced authorities to decide against it. Kreuziger described it as a “very small particle detonation” that was loud enough to be heard by law enforcement and residents around the apartment complex grounds. There were no injuries reported and officials say that those in neighboring buildings are safe.
While residents are not allowed to gather personal belongings from building 109, the chief says that on Friday, tenants were able to remove their belongings from a multi-unit garage where additional explosives were also found. Kreuziger tells us that the explosives were removed from the garage and detonated in a quarry near the city limits on Thursday morning. Law enforcement continues to maintain a perimeter around building 109 in an effort to ensure public safety.
Finally, WISN television in Milwaukee is reporting that the unidentified suspect had been employed as a quality control technician at Richelieu Foods in Beaver Dam since last June. He reportedly grew up in Outagamie County, went to Seymore High School, then graduated from college in 2013 with a pre-pharmacy degree before spending three years working as a scientist in the Madison area.
Authorities have not yet identified the individual. Monday’s explosion led to the discovery of chemicals so volatile that residents in 17 surrounding buildings were evacuated for two days, until the substances were denotated inside the apartment unit Wednesday afternoon.