OnFocus – Over the weekend, the South Area Fire District (SAFER) spent much of their Saturday battling a structure fire just outside of Wausau. The fire began with one building and quickly spread to other buildings surrounding it. SAFER Fire Chief Matt Savage released a statement regarding the fire late Monday afternoon.
Statement from Matt Savage, SAFER Fire Chief – “On Saturday May 1, both SAFER and Marathon Fire were jointly dispatched for a building fire at 143771 Packer Drive. The first building to start on fire rapidly spread to other buildings. The winds were steady out the west at 18 mph with gusts as high as 29 mph and resulted in rather quick moving fire conditions. In total there were six buildings lost in this fire with multiple vehicles and stored equipment. Two residential houses were saved as a result of the hard work of numerous firefighters. In all there were well over 150 firefighters on scene and a total of over 225,000 gallons of water used.
“This fire quickly overwhelmed the firefighting resources that were on scene and mutual aid was called for utilizing MABAS (mutual aid system) and within 50 minutes, this fire was at the 5th alarm level. This is the first fire to reach the 5th alarm level in the history of SAFER.
“We would like to thank all the departments that responded and helped with this fire. In total there were 17 water tenders, 11 engines, two ladder trucks and multiple brush trucks and command vehicles that were on scene a total of 8+ hours. Thank you; Maine FD, Marathon FD, Ringle FD, City of Wausau FD, Town of Wausau FD, McMillan FD, Athens FD, Edgar FD, Mosinee FD, Corning FD, Spencer FD, Stratford FD, Merrill FD, Riverside FD, Hamburg FD, Kronenwetter FD, Hewitt FD, Wausau DNR, Salvation Army, and Marathon County Sheriff’s Office for your assistance. This was truly a great example of communities coming together and helping each other in a time of need. A special thanks as well to Marathon County Dispatch Center that kept up with all the requests that this situation entailed.
“This fire remains under investigation at this time and further details will be released as available.”
Another fire, this one in Menasha, tore through a paper mill over the weekend. Read more about that here.
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