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SCORCH MARKS mark the roofline of the wax extraction plant at Winfred which burned in the early morning hours. Seven local agencies responded to the blaze which took nearly three hours to extinguish.

Local firefighters remained on the scene Tuesday morning after an early morning fire destroyed a wax extraction plant in Winfred.

“We don’t know who called it in. A passerby saw smoke and flames,” reported Todd Balogh, assistant fire chief with the Madison Volunteer Fire Department. “When we got here, it was fully engulfed.”

The call came in at 5:16 a.m. Responding department were actively engaged in battling the fire for nearly three hours and remained on the scene after the fire was visibly extinguished to ensure there were no hotspots which could erupt. Balogh reported the source of the fire is unknown. The plant, one of several buildings owned by A.H. Meyer & Sons, held beeswax and extraction equipment. While beeswax is used for candles, it is not considered a flammable substance.

“The fire marshal will see if he can determine the cause,” Balogh indicated.

A.H. Meyer & Sons is a four-generation, family-owned business which continues to process honey, but has focused on wax extraction in recent years. In addition, the company is licensed to diversify into hemp extraction.

Vice president Ken Meyer expressed gratitude to local fire fighters for their efforts in battling the blaze. The family was notified of the fired by the Madison Fire Department and was on hand during the early morning hours to observe their efforts.

At this point, the extent of the damage is unknown.

“It’s going to take time to know about the equipment,” Meyer observed. He also noted there was no one in the building at the time of the fire.

A.H. Meyer & Sons employs 16 people. Because the company has more than one building, everyone will remain employed, according to Meyer.

On Tuesday morning, as heavy clouds hung over the area, he appeared calm in the face of his company’s loss. He said the same is true of other family members.

“We’re calm, because we have things to do,” Meyer said, noting they have a lot to figure out. “We’ll figure it all out. That’s what it means to be in business over 100 years.”

Responding agencies included the Madison Volunteer Fire Department, Wentworth Volunteer Fire Department, Nunda Volunteer Fire Department, Ramona Volunteer Fire Department, personnel from the Chester Volunteer Fire Department, Madison Ambulance Service and Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Also on the scene was Lake County Emergency Management Director Kody Keefer.