Fire in Fontana accompanied by several explosions; cause not yet determined
By Kellen Olshefski
A storage unit in Fontana went up in flames Tuesday night with several explosions occurring while fire crews attempted to dowse the blaze.
According to a press release from Fontana Fire Department Fire Chief Wolfgang Nitsch the fire department was dispatched to Fontana Storage Units, 201 Dewey Ave., at 11:33 p.m. Tuesday night. Reports from law enforcement, first to arrive on scene, indicate the fire was fully involved, according to Nitsch, and request for assistance from Walworth Fire Department was made immediately.
When fire crews arrived at 11:37 p.m., Nitsch said intensive flames in the center of the building were venting through the roof. After evaluating the scene, he said a request to a box level mutual aid response was made.
While fire crews were preparing to take on the blaze, Nitsch said a variety of small explosions were coming from the center of the building, followed by a “significant explosion.” Nitsch said the explosion is believed to have been some type of stored gas cylinder of either propane or welding equipment.
Fire crews had the fire under control at about 12:30 a.m., according to Nitsch, with crews remaining on scene for extensive overhaul and hot spot extinguishment until about 4:45 a.m.
Fontana Fire Department was assisted in the blaze by crews from Walworth, Williams Bay, the Town of Linn, Lake Geneva, Darien, Bloomfield and the Racine Fire Bells.
Nitsch said the fire remains under investigation and no determination has been made as to what caused the fire.