Fort Atkinson firefighting activities end after 4+ days

Firefighting activities in Fort Atkinson, where a fire reached five-alarm status and prompted evacuations earlier in the week, concluded Saturday, Aug. 14 after more than four days.

The fire broke out at an industrial building near North Main Street and Oak Street on Tuesday afternoon, Aug. 10. After about three hours fighting the fire that day, a water shortage led Fort Atkinson Fire Chief Daryl Rausch to decide the flames would need to burn out on their own.

The Fort Atkinson Fire Department on Saturday afternoon, Aug. 14 made the announcement that firefighting activities had concluded. The Environmental Protection Agency will continue to monitor air conditions for at least 24 hours and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will continue to monitor water and run-off for an undetermined amount of time.

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Rausch said the structure that caught fire primarily housed military tires and some chemicals. It was determined to be a total loss. There were "minor injuries to a couple of firefighters due to the heat," according to officials. All workers known to be in the building when it caught fire were accounted for. There were no dogs at the nearby Kennel Club. 

About 50 people were evacuated from their homes due to the fire. Evacuees were able to return to their homes by around 8 p.m. Tuesday, according to officials. 

Nearly 150 firefighters descended on Fort Atkinson the day of the fire, coming from several area counties to assist in the effort.

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