SEATS Inc. Building Fire in Richland Center

SEATS Inc. Building Fire in Richland Center

Richland Center Fire Chief Bob Bindl announced that the Richland Center Fire Department received a call at around 9:30 p.m. Friday evening December 6, 2013, to respond to a fire at the Seats, Inc. facility on the corner of Highway 14 and Sextonville Road in Richland Center. Seats is a manufacturer of foam injection molded seats used in the lawn and turf care industries. The fire was first reported to the Richland County 911 Dispatch center by a passing motorist that saw the flames from behind the plant on Highway 14. There were four employees working at the plant at the time of the call who were not aware of the fire. These employees were also notified by the motorist and all were able to exit the plant unharmed.

The fire started on the west end of the building in a dumpster and the wind carried it into the building, prior to the arrival of fire crews. Temperatures ranged from negative five degrees to the single digits for the entire time of the overnight suppression and overhaul operation. These cold temperatures hampered firefighting efforts by causing dangerous icing conditions on the fire ground. The last fire unit cleared the scene at approximately 8:30 a.m.

Sextonville road was closed for several hours from Highway 14 to Gage Street as fire crews laid supply hose from the City’s hydrant system to fight the blaze. It was estimated that approximately 750,000 gallons of water were used on the building between the buildings sprinkler system and pumped by fire apparatus. The highway was reopened at 6:00 a.m.

The building suffered fire, smoke and water damage. A local excavating contractor was brought in to assist in the suppression efforts by removing some of the steel from the buildings structure that had collapsed on the contents of the building trapping hot spots that continued to rekindle.  The cost of damages is not available at this time and the fire is still under investigation.

The Richland Center,  Lone Rock, Muscoda, Spring Green, Cazenovia, and Viola Fire Departments all assisted at the scene either with the suppression efforts or by helping to pick up the over 1500 feet of hose used to attack the blaze. The Departments Explorer youth group, City Utilities Electric and Water Departments, Richland County EMS, Richland County Emergency Management Services, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the Richland Center Police Department and the Richland Center Street Department all assisted at the scene.

One firefighter suffered a mild concussion and another was treated for dehydration and smoke inhalation. Both were taken to the Richland Hospital for treatment and released by mid-morning.




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