Beaver Dam apartment building to be burned down; 15 families wil - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Beaver Dam apartment building to be burned down; 15 families will lose everything

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Photo of controlled detonation inside Beaver Dam apartment building Photo of controlled detonation inside Beaver Dam apartment building

BEAVER DAM (WKOW) -- One week after a deadly explosion at an apartment complex in Beaver Dam, federal and local authorities are getting ready to burn down the building.

The explosion at the Village Glen Apartments left one man dead. And the people who live in the other 15 units in building 109 will not be allowed to go in and get anything. Not even fire personnel are being allowed in.

The man killed in the apartment where the explosion happened on March 5th has still not been identified. Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuziger said that's due to the condition of the body.

Kreuziger said dangerous chemicals are embedded in the building material after the initial explosion last Monday, and then a controlled explosion last Wednesday to set off all the chemicals.

The plan is to light the building at both ends and let it burn towards the middle. A mandatory evacuation will be in place for surrounding buildings, including buildings 103, 105, 107, 111 and 113 in the complex, along with Prairie Ridge and Keystone Manor.

“There was dangerous, highly volatile materials and they present a large risk to the public, which is why we're taking the steps to render this building safe through thermal destruction on Wednesday," Kreuziger said. “This was a difficult and long and agonizing decision. Basically what it comes down to is life or property.”

“This is very atypical. This is new ground for all of us. There's only been one other incident like this in the country,” said Fire Chief Alan Mannel.

The EPA will do air monitoring in the vicinity before, during and after the burn.

Evacuations will start at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The intentional burn will begin right after at 10 a.m.

Officials are still accepting donations to help those who have been displaced by the explosion that killed a man Monday. The money raised will be distributed to residents of apartment building 109, where the explosion happened. Donations can be made at any Dodge County Horicon Bank location to the account Dodge County COAD/Beaver Dam Apartments. Any non-monetary donations can go to St. Vincent DePaul or American National Bank.

Authorities said more than $4,400 has been raised so far.

Officials will hold another briefing on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

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