Report: Official cause of Echo Lake Foods fire remains undetermined

BURLINGTON (WITI) -- On January 30th, an officer drove toward one of Burlington's largest employers -- the Echo Lake Foods plant. What he discovered was a handful of people rushing out of the building and sent first responders rushing in.

Over 80 departments and nearly 300 firefighters responded to a massive fire that left employees of the fourth largest employer in the Greater Burlington area displaced.

The Echo Lake Foods plant burned for hours and was classified a nine-alarm blaze.

Eventually, daylight began to show the extent of the damage -- and for the first time on Tuesday, April 30th with a release of documents from the investigation -- we are getting a first look at photos taken by investigators after fire crews battled the blaze in below zero wind chills.

Those images include the extent of damage inside the plant, where the fire burned hot enough to melt lighting fixtures and send debris dripping to the floor.

In a report spanning dozens of pages, investigators detail how they determine the blaze began in the boiler room, but the cause of the fire remains undetermined.

The report says investigators took a closer look at a former Echo Lake Foods plant employee, who may have had an axe to grind with the company. One worker told investigators that man texted "You are going to have a very interesting week."

That former employee was cleared, and the fire was ruled unintentional.

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