(Beaver Dam) Over a half-a-year later, the Beaver Dam Fire Department is reflecting on what they learned from the apartment explosion at Village Glen building 109. The 11-day ordeal ended with a controlled burn of the entire 16-unit apartment complex ordered following a March 5th explosion that left one dead. Authorities found a deceased white supremacist with 13 jars of T-A-T-P, a volatile chemical so unstable that it first had to be detonated, before the entire building was burned to the ground.
Fire Chief Alan Mannel says FBI investigators had informed area officials from the on-set that there was a good chance that the building was lost. He says members of the National Guard Civil Support Team corroborated what the FBI was saying, given them a good indication that the structure would eventually be destroyed. Mannel added that there was an accidental explosion prior to the planned detonation while the FBI bomb squad was working with the materials. He says the accidental detonation was the “last straw” and set in motion plans to burn building 109 down.
During an appearance last week on WBEV’s Community Comment, Mannel took a moment to recognize those who assisted his department. He says in addition to the Beaver Dam Fire Department there were 132 firefighters on-hand during the events that transpired last March. Mannel says during a morning briefing he heard that several of those firefighters took vacation days and days off from work to come help. The controlled burn of building 109 was documented by Mannel and he is giving presentations of the incident to other fire departments upon request.
Chief Alan Mannel and Captain Russ Johnson discuss Fire Prevention Week followed by a look back at Village Glen: