Residents will lose all keepsakes as apartment building set to b - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Residents will lose all keepsakes as apartment building set to be torched

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BEAVER DAM (WKOW) -- Roughly 30 people, 15 families, who once lived in a Beaver Dam apartment building that blew up March 5 will soon be homeless. Authorities say they have no other choice than to burn the building down. 

"The plan at this time is to light the building at both ends and let it burn towards the middle. There will be no suppression efforts," said Chief Alan Mannel, with the Beaver Dam Fire Department. 

It means residents of building 109 will lose everything inside. 

"I'm going to lose all the pictures of my parents. They both passed away," said Kathy Hagen who lived in the building. "Yeah my kid's stuff, baby pictures. All of their growing up pictures."

Authorities said the area is too dangerous to allow anyone inside. Residents will not be able to gather any of their belongings left behind. 

"No one is allowed to enter the building 109 -- not residents, not even police or fire personnel," said Amy Nehls, the director of the Dodge County Emergency Management. 

Beaver Dam's police Chief John Kreuziger said the chemicals from the blast are still embedded in the insulation inside the buildings and any friction or force could cause other explosions. 

"And that's what they, because of the noise, they can't have us going in there, stepping on something, grabbing something, blowing off an arm. Blow off a foot," Hagen added. 

"This is a difficult, long and agonizing decision and basically what it came down to is life or property," Chief Kreuziger said. 

Firefighters with several fire departments around the area will help guard the surrounding apartment buildings that are in close proximity to the one burning down. But they will not protect building 109. 

"We have been advised to let it burn as hot and as long as possible. It is heat that degrades the explosive material," said Chief Mannel. 

Donations can be made at any Dodge County Horicon Bank location to the account Dodge County COAD/Beaver Dam Apartments to help those who are losing their apartment. 

Non-monetary donations can also be made to St. Vincent DePaul or Salvation Army. 

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