Trempealeau, WI (WXOW)-- A fire at a family-owned recycling center in Trempealeau burned to the ground Sunday.
"The car was inside the shed when it started on fire and caught materials around it," said Diane Stanislowski, the owner's daughter. "It didn't take long and once that started it all went up in flames."
It took only a few minutes. for the flames to spread throughout the Stanislowski recycling plant.
"It was, as far as the hazardous materials and the plastics go, it was really bad," said Jack Bemis, the chief of the Trempealeau Fire Department. "And with the oil there was a lot of black smoke."
The flames and smoke destroyed the more than 30-year family business.
"It's very hard," Stanislowski said. "You know, I look at everything, I have a son, he's 22 and the memories and the different things that have happened. And, my brother's kids, it's a good thing we've got memories and pictures because that's really all we've got now."
Walking through the ashes, Stanislowski did come across something she recognized: coins from a collection jar her parents kept on the office desk.
"Like when they were sorting through cans and stuff, if bartenders dropped it in a bag of cans, they would pull it out and put it in a glass jar," Stanislowski said.
Stanislowski says the family hopes to rebuild the plant.
"I know that all of the community, our customers and everything that we had, the strong support, will be backing us," Stanislowski said. "And, you know it's a great way to serve the community and give them what they need."
In the meantime, Stanislowski and her family are grateful for the work of the area fire departments who responded to the call.
"The biggest thing is, which we're really amazed by, is how well mutual aid does work in this area," Bemis said. "I mean, to put 13 fire departments together on a Sunday, everybody worked really well together."
Stanislowski says it's that cooperation that prevented anyone from being seriously injured.
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