Fire destroys East Side business WSJ 10-2-00
WSJ Local Story
Fire destroys East Side business
Firefighter in intensive care at local hospital
SEPTEMBER 2, 2000
By Heather Morgan Wisconsin State Journal
Fire destroyed an East Side plastic recycling company Sunday morning, injuring one firefighter and shooting up thick, black smoke that could be seen for miles.
The blaze, which caused an estimated $3 million in damage, was first spotted at about 9 a.m. by air traffic controllers at the nearby Dane County Regional airport, assistant Madison Fire Chief George Burke said.
When firefighters arrived at Woodland Plastic Recycling Corp, 2955 Packers Ave., the football field-sized building was engulfed in flames, he said.
As of 8 p.m., crews were still at the scene fighting ÔÔhot spotsÕÕ under collapsed parts of the metal warehouse. The cause of the fire was being investigated.
Burke said a firefighter suffered shortness of breath and was taken to University Hospital. A fire department statement said later the firefighter was in intensive care.
Several people were evacuated from residences along Darwin Road, which was downwind from the fire.
Because of the plastics stored in the building, the fire was unusually hot and difficult to fight, Burke said.
ÔÔItÕs relatively unforgiving with water,ÕÕ Burke said at about 2 p.m. ÔÔWeÕre going at it with foam concentrates now.ÕÕ
Several explosions, believed to be from propane tanks used on forklifts, could be heard as the fire raged.
Woodland Plastics, which specializes in recycling nylon, has leased the building for about 12 years, said Dan Reed, vice president of operations for the Madison-based company. The World War II-era building is owned by Rice Associates.
Reed said Woodland Plastics, which has a sister company in Hazelton, Pa., probably will reopen its Madison facility.
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