Smoke fills the air
outside Formart Container Co. on Pioneer Road and
Cardinal Avenue in Cedarburg. The Dec. 16, 1968, fire
was among the largest in the city’s history. While the
majority of flames were extinguished by 10:30 p.m. that
day, the fire was not completely out until Dec. 19.
CEDARBURG — Fifty years ago this month, volunteers with
the Cedarburg Fire Department fought one of the largest
fires in the community’s history. Firefighters were
called at 3:10 p.m. Dec. 16, 1968, to the corner of
Pioneer Road and Cardinal Avenue for a fire at the
Formart Container Co. Smoke and flames were coming
through the roof of the packing room, according to the
book, “The Cedarburg Fire Department 1866-2016.”
The Cedarburg Fire Department dispatched 67 firefighters
and seven vehicles to fight the blaze, and required
assistance from the Grafton and Thiensville fire
departments. Five fire hydrants were tapped, using 2,950
gallons per minute to fight the fire.
According to department history, sparks landed on the
adjacent Marquardt Bus Service building. After water was
sprayed on the building, the water froze and protected
the building during the duration of the fire.
Eight firefighters and two others in the building
Formart manufactured biodegradable plant containers. It
closed in 2013.
sign is now on the building at Kettle Moraine Appliance,
which renovated the former Formart building and will
move in within the next three months.
Photo by Mark Justesen
Today the building is nearly ready to become home to the
largest appliance showroom in the state.
Kettle Moraine Appliance is wrapping up a major overhaul
of the 75,000-square-foot building and expects to open
its new store in the next three months.
Store Manager Andy Naumann said the store will offer
state-of-the art features not seen in stores anywhere in
the Midwest. It will provide appliances “in every price
range” for people of all budget levels.
Kettle Moraine will also begin selling bedroom
furniture, including a variety of mattress lines,
Kettle Moraine’s first store is in West Bend. They
opened a second store in Cedarburg in 2012. That
location, on Washington Avenue just north of Pioneer
Road, will close when the new showroom is opened.
“This showroom is just so impressive.” Naumann said.