A major fire reportedly either triggered by, or resulting in, the explosion of two 1,000-lb propane tanks has resulted in the destruction of Flagel Insulation on Long Lake Road in Berrien Springs.
State Police told several onlookers that nobody was injured in the explosion and fire at 5409 Long Lake Road between Range Line Road and M-139 south of Lake Chapin. The fire occurred in the pre-dawn hours this morning, Sunday, March 10th, 2019, and remains under investigation.
Tom Flagel, President of the company, says that the Fire Chief told him the fire is still of unknown origin. It resulted in a total loss for the company including 4 major insulation trucks and equipment, supplies and inventory, three offices and the equipment in them, plus a Kubota grounds tractor. He says, "We will begin again, the Lord willing."
Flagel Insulation is a 28 year old business started during the construction of a new home by Tom and Tina Flagel in Berrien Springs back in 1991. Tom was also a long time teacher and coach in the Eau Claire Public Schools system dating back to 1974.
One of Flagel's first full-time employees, Joe Haskins later became a foreman there and as the business grew under his leadership he eventually became part-owner of the business.
Tom Flagel posted a photo of the early morning fire on his Facebook page, as shown above, saying, "Business building and trucks up in smoke this morning. Don't know what started it. Monday must start the rebuild of building and order new trucks!"
The fire investigation continues.