UPDATE: No injuries after fire at American Packaging Corporation - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: No injuries after fire at American Packaging Corporation


COLUMBUS (WKOW) -- A lunchtime explosion shook-up residents of this small town Monday afternoon.

No one was hurt, but it happened at the large American Packaging Corporation plant where a man died in an explosion just three years ago.

There was no mistaking the sound.

"Boom, that's exactly, I can't describe it better than that," said Jeff Koch, American Packaging Corp. Vice President of Operations.  "It was, it was an explosion and it was heard throughout the factory, as well as in the office."

The explosion came from an interior room on the west side of the 200,000 square foot facility, immediately sparking a fire.

"We were met with large, heavy smoke as we entered the building," said Lt. Jerrod Fox, with the Columbus Fire Department.

Fire officials said the incident could have been a lot worse if this facility weren't set up to handle such a situation.

"The fire department only used 300 gallons of water," said Lt. Fox. "Everything else was contained with the sprinkler system from Ameripack.  So, the sprinkler system did its job to contain the fire." 

"We're very fortunate in that we don't have any issues to deal with in terms of anybody being injured," added Koch, was said most of the plant was on their lunch break at the time of the explosion.

The room where the explosion took place housed a machine that prints labels.

"We don't know the exact origin or cause of this explosion yet.  The fire department is in there now, just verifying that everything is safe," said Koch.

In 2009, an explosion at the same plant took the life of a 47 year-old man working inside.  Fire officials ruled human error as the cause of that tragedy.  Plant managers say this is not similar scenario.

"Its a controlled environment, its one room with a machine in it.  And again, we don't know the cause of it," said Koch.

The investigation into the cause is ongoing.


COLUMBUS (WKOW) -- Fire officials are investigating what caused an explosion the American Packaging Corporation in Columbus.

Officials say they were called to the business around 12:30 p.m. Monday.

Fire officials say the fire was contained to one part of the building where a Rotopress was located. There's no word yet on what exploded.

Officials say the building has a "very good" sprinkler system and most of the fire was put out. Fire crews only used about 300 gallons of water.

No one was hurt in the fire.



COLUMBUS (WKOW) -- Columbia County authorities say multiple crews have responded to a large fire at the American Packaging Corporation in Columbus.

Officials can only confirm that a fire started Monday afternoon and emergency crews are on scene. There's no word on injuries at this time.

27 News is sending a crew to the scene. Stay with www.wkow.com for more on this developing story.


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