(Beaver Dam) Village Glen apartment building 109 in Beaver Dam was ignited by flares in a controlled burn at 10:09am this morning. The building quickly became fully engulfed in flames, shooting plumes of smoke into the air that could reportedly be seen in as far away as Fox Lake and apparently even into Dane County. According to the Beaver Dam Police Departments Facebook page, the the FBI bomb squad confirmed that no explosive materials remain on site and area residents of Knaup Drive will be allowed to return once an air quality sample is analyzed by the EPA. At last word one street remains closed to traffic: Knaup Drive. Many surrounding businesses are voluntarily closed.
The intentional incineration comes ten days after highly volatile chemicals were found in the rubble of a fatal explosion. Benjamin Morrow was identified yesterday (Wednesday) as the victim of the blast. Chief John Kreuziger told reporters that the 28-year-old was identified by his DNA which been delayed due to the condition of the subjects remains, not allowing for the traditional methods of identification such as fingerprints and dental records.
Meanwhile, all was not lost for residents of building 109 who had been told that they would not be able to retrieve any of their personal belongings. The FBI Bomb Squad did a sweep of the property yesterday (Wednesday) and was able to retrieve the most valuable personal properties of the affected tenants in 13 apartments of the 16-unit complex. The original plan called for the perimeter to be lifted, streets to re-open and neighboring tenants to return by evening…and that apparently remains the plan as officials said this morning that everything is unfolding as expected, in fact the building burned much quicker than anticipated. Building 109 will continue to smolder throughout the afternoon as officials say the heat is the only way to destroy the unstable and volatile chemicals involved.
North Spring Street and Industrial Drive re-opened shortly after 1pm.