Chief: 3 fires make unusually busy day for Belleville FD

Two reported fires and a controlled burn kept area fire departments out of headquarters Thursday, an official said.

Belleville Fire Chief Ron Babler said the fire department had an unusually busy day responding to a commercial fire in Belleville at about noon, a residential fire in Montrose at about 2:25 p.m. and a controlled outdoor burn on Highway D and Double D in Montrose. Mutual aid from area departments helped Belleville FD respond, and the firefighters were able to get the fires under control and minimize damage. No one was injured at any of the scenes.

“Two structure fires in an afternoon is fairly unusual for us,” Babler said. “Those other units being able to respond right away, it worked out pretty well for the second call.”

The first call at Anderson Custom Processing, 220 Serv-US St. in Belleville, was a dryer fire at the plant on the infant formula line, Babler said. A dryer unit fire had set off a high-velocity sprinkler system and blew out special release doors. Flames were visible from the doors on arrival, and crews had the fire under control at about 1:30 p.m. Mutual aid units from Verona, Brooklyn, Oregon and New Glarus assisted Belleville.

A report of a fire at a house at 1487 Range Trail in the town of Montrose sent crews from the Anderson Custom building to the home. The smoke detectors went off in the house and alerted the residents to the fire, Babler said. The residents got out of the house without injury. Mount Horeb, Fitchburg and Verona fire departments were able to get to the Range Trail fire as Belleville disconnected from hose lines on Serv-US Street. A fire that likely started in the basement damaged the home, but the majority of the damage came from smoke, Babler said.

Damage at Anderson Custom Processing was estimated at $3 million, Babler said. Damage at the Range Trail house was estimated at less than $50,000. The Range Trail house will be uninhabitable until smoke damage is cleared.

There was nothing suspicious about any of the fires Thursday, Babler said.
Anderson Custom Processing is a spray-drying service for food, beverage, infant formula, pharmaceuticals and other products, according to the company website.