(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam Fire Chief Alan Mannel says his department quickly ruled out a drug lab or natural gas explosion when they surveyed the damage at Village Glen building 109. Mannel joined us on WBEV’s Community Comment yesterday, which marked one year since a fatal explosion that sparked an eleven-day ordeal that made national headlines. The homemade chemical discovered on site was so volatile that attempts were first made to detonate the substance before the decision came down to burn the entire building to the ground.
Mannel says the department’s fire inspector knew from past experience that there was no gas service to building 109, allowing them to rule that as the source of the explosion. A methamphetamine lab was the other theory. Crews inside said the apartment said it was just too “neatly kept” for a drug lab, and then saw suspicious jars of liquid in a dorm style frig. That’s when Mannel said “this just is not adding up, let’s get out of here.” The scene was turned over the primary investigative agency, the Beaver Dam Police Department; the State Fire Marshall’s Office and Dane County Bomb Squad were brought in. By the end of the day, 228 people from multiple neighboring buildings were evacuated.
Watch the interview with Chief Mannel here:
Listen to the interview with Chief Mannel here: