Cold weather complicates fire fight in Richland Center, chief says

Cold weather complicates fire fight in Richland Center, chief says

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries fighting a blaze at a Richland Center manufacturer overnight, a fire official said.

Richland Center Fire Chief Bob Bindl said one firefighter suffered a mild concussion, and another was treated for smoke inhalation and dehydration Saturday after battling the blaze at Seats Inc. that began Friday night.

Bindl said the department received a report of a fire at building on the corner of Highway 14 and Sextonville Road at about 9 p.m. The fire started on the west end of the building in a dumpster and the wind carried it into the building, the fire chief said.

The last truck returned to the fire department at about 8:30 a.m., Bindl said. He said the low temperatures overnight, estimated at about negative 5 early Saturday morning, complicated fighting the blaze causing them to freeze up.

“The hose lines were freezing up if we didn’t keep water going through them at all times,” Bindl said. “And obviously this taxes the firefighters because of the cold.” He said the below-zero temperature also affected the breathing systems used by the crews.

The area was closed for several hours as crews battled the fire, according to a news release. Construction equipment was brought in to help crews get into the building, Bindl said.

About 20 percent of the building suffered fire, smoke and water damage, Bindl added. The cost of damages was not available Saturday morning. The fire is still under investigation, the fire department said.

Multiple area agencies responded to the fire including Muscoda, Spring Green, Cazenovia, Viola and Lone Rock fire departments. The Richland County Emergency Management Services, county and city police, EMS and local utilities also assisted.