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Details on probable causes of May 12, 2020 fires in West Bend

May 22, 2020 – West Bend, WI – Following up on a couple fires in the community of West Bend over the past few weeks. Both fires occurred the same day, May 12, 2020.

According to the West Bend Fire Department the cause of the afternoon duplex fire, 912 Walnut Street, in West Bend is either smoking material/cigarettes or the cause was electrical in nature. West Bend Fire Chief Gerald Kudek believes the amount of damage caused by the fire is about $60,000.

Click HERE to watch a video of the smoky fire. Nobody was injured in the fire. One person was home at the time the fire broke out and firefighters rescued the homeowners cat that was found hiding in a kitchen cabinet.

The May 12, 2020 fire in the south industrial park at US Biologics remains under investigation.

The fire call came in just before 4 a.m. at 170 W. Progress Drive. US Biologics is a company that manufactures biological cosmetics. The company has operated the last 17 years out of a two-story pole building on the north side of Progress Drive.

Company President Greg Shuppe said. “I don’t exactly know what happened but I have an idea it was equipment malfunction.”

Shuppe said there appeared to be mostly smoke damage. “We have a fermentation suite and that’s all stainless steel,” he said.

One employee was in the building at the time the fire broke out. Shuppe said the employee was “in her office but got out of the building quickly.”

Investigators from the West Bend Fire Department were conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire at 7 a.m. Tuesday. There was little visible damage however a heavy chemical smell hung in the air.

Click HERE for photos from the US Biologics social media page.

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