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Investigation of Calumet Fire That Left One Dead and Eight Injured Complete


KIEL - A December 29, 2009 fire in Calumet County has been thoroughly investigated by the Department of Justice Fire Marshal's Office, Calumet County Sheriff's Department and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and found to be of undetermined cause. The dumpster fire at Bremer Manufacturing Company Inc., located at W2002 Co. Highway Q in the Town of New Holstein, was discovered by Calumet County Sheriff Deputies and the St. Anna Fire Department was dispatched to the scene.


While attempting to subdue the flames with water and suppressant foam, an explosion occurred from within the dumpster; killing one volunteer firefighter while eight others sustained injuries. The Wisconsin Office of the State Fire Marshal, as well as the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, were called by the Calumet County Sheriff Department to aid in the investigation.


Based on all available information at this time, the following determinations were made regarding the origin and cause of the fire/explosion incident:


  • The fire originated within the damaged refuse container, which contained aluminum alloy shavings and 55 gallon steel barrels of aluminum dross (slag).
  • The cause of the fire is classified as "undetermined", however there is no information available to indicate that the fire was as a result of an intentional act.
  • The explosion occurred from within the refuse container.
  • The cause of the explosion was as a result of the fire suppression efforts and the introduction of water and fire suppressant foam.



No further information is available at this time. Please direct any questions relating to this release to the Office of the State Fire Marshal at (608) 266-1221.


This is a joint press release of the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Calumet County Sheriff's Department.


A copy of the State Fire Marshal's report is available at: