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OMG! HUGE fire right by me in Wisconsin!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
If anyone turns on like CNN, MSNBC, etc. you will eventually see that the meat-packing plant Patrich Cudahy in WI is burning since last night. It's in Cudahy, right next to South Milwaukee which is where I live. They are evacuating people within 1 mile radius, and I'm almost 4.5 miles away. My windows are all open and I think I can smell a little bit of something funky. The news is saying that south milwaukee is really helping out a lot in this. We are "sharing" our water with them now to fight the blaze and stuff. Apparently the people that had to evacuate are being "kept" at the south milwaukee high school. They just said that like 15,000 have been evacuated in that 1 sq. mile, and their pop. is only 19,000 something. That's nuts! They are telling everyone to conserve water because they are afraid that they will run out of water to fight it. The Cudahy mayor seems very worried and scared on TV right now. They are most worried about a burning ammonia smell, and a potential huge explosion. They already pumped 8.5 million gallons of water on this. No injuries yet, but considering that that town (along with mine) are very tightly packed into a very small area, if there's an explosion who knows what's going to happen.

This is kinda sad, Patrick Cudahy is almost like a historical landmark around here. Anyone in SE wisconsin knows this.

They say they're not even close to giving an all-clear for the people living around there. I know I shouldn't be, but I'm kinda freaking myself out (I tend to overreact ).

(This is weird, Pirate and Mia are hiding right now. They never hide in the middle of the day like this, ever. They must smell it too and sense something funky going on.)
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
FYI... They just mentioned that the WI humane society is at the high school for the evacuee's pets, which is very nice I think. It's a little reassuring, if something worse happens and I have to leave I'll be able to rely on the WHS. Wow, it looks like a thunderstorm on the news with the smoke! Icky bad stuff man, icky bad stuff.
post #3 of 17
for everyone affected by this horrible fire. I hope everyone, people and pets, are safe and stay that way!
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
for everyone affected by this horrible fire. I hope everyone, people and pets, are safe and stay that way!
Thank you... There was just a crying woman on the news saying that when she left her house, she left her puppy in her house with the windows open right by the fire. Good news though- it has seemed to die down a lot. But who knows if it'll start up for a 3rd time.
post #5 of 17
Scary!

We had some really bad fires when i was living at home. One year the police came around and said it was a voluntary evacuation for us. So we started to pack up all the stuff that was most important to us (pictures and stuff) and got all the cats out of the bedrooms so it would be easy to catch them if need be. By the time we were done they evacuated us. Luckily my parents own a camper so we just took that out. By the end of the day we were ok to go back but it was pretty scary. The next year during fire season the fire fighters were usuing my friends back yard to get to the fire. So a bunch of us went over and made like 100 sandwiches and bought bottled water for them. It is scare, but I have some REALLY neat pics of the fires.

Is it raining ash? Every fire season we had a blanket of ash for WEEKS.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emy4cats View Post
Scary!

We had some really bad fires when i was living at home. One year the police came around and said it was a voluntary evacuation for us. So we started to pack up all the stuff that was most important to us (pictures and stuff) and got all the cats out of the bedrooms so it would be easy to catch them if need be. By the time we were done they evacuated us. Luckily my parents own a camper so we just took that out. By the end of the day we were ok to go back but it was pretty scary. The next year during fire season the fire fighters were usuing my friends back yard to get to the fire. So a bunch of us went over and made like 100 sandwiches and bought bottled water for them. It is scare, but I have some REALLY neat pics of the fires.

Is it raining ash? Every fire season we had a blanket of ash for WEEKS.

Wow, and I thought my situation was nasty! It's definitely not raining ash here- yet (idk if it will happen). A lot of the smoke is going out over Lake Michigan, since the wind is stupid here. It goes every which way! It just started up again something fierce. Everytime they think they've got it somewhat under control, boom. More fire. The scary part with this (compared to a wildfire) is that there are very dangerous chemicals involved. Not that this is worse than a wildfire, by any means no way.
post #7 of 17
Why are their chemicals involved?

One of the fires that almost took out some of the buildings at the college I was going too was set as a "controlled fire" so that there would be nothing to catch on fire over there when fire season started.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mismaris777 View Post
The scary part with this (compared to a wildfire) is that there are very dangerous chemicals involved. Not that this is worse than a wildfire, by any means no way.
Definitely not better or worse. Just different than a wildfire. Still scary to those close to it, regardless of what is burning. Still devestating if you lose your home to it. The chemicals would definitely be scary, though!

We had the "raining ash" thing happen with the Hayman Fire a few years ago, as well as the advisories that anyone with asthma or emphasema stay indoors as much as possible due to all the smoke in the air. The only "good" thing about big fires like that is that the sunrises and sunsets with the smoke in the air are truly spectacular.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emy4cats View Post
Why are their chemicals involved?

One of the fires that almost took out some of the buildings at the college I was going too was set as a "controlled fire" so that there would be nothing to catch on fire over there when fire season started.
Apparently there is ammonia that has gotten in the air from this, and since it's a plant there's always chemicals around. They initially considered it a "controlled fire" but since it has broken through a fire wall after considered contained, it's now considered uncontrolled. And I guess the area that it is burning now has some pretty nasty chemicals in or something. It's a building fire which is different than a wildfire. I'm surprised that they've kept it as contained as it is, since buildings are basically packed on top of each other in Cudahy.

I just also heard that there is risk of asbestos (sp?) in the building. Patrick Cudahy is well over 100 years old, with tons of add-ons and such. So that's another threat along with the toxic ammonia
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Definitely not better or worse. Just different than a wildfire. Still scary to those close to it, regardless of what is burning. Still devestating if you lose your home to it. The chemicals would definitely be scary, though!

We had the "raining ash" thing happen with the Hayman Fire a few years ago, as well as the advisories that anyone with asthma or emphasema stay indoors as much as possible due to all the smoke in the air. The only "good" thing about big fires like that is that the sunrises and sunsets with the smoke in the air are truly spectacular.
Oh I know! I think fire is beautiful on it own, but I had some pretty awesome pictures of the fire coming down the hill behind my parents house with the sun setting behind the hills. It was amazing!

Scary about the chemicals! Are they suggesting you stay inside due to poor air quality?
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emy4cats View Post
Oh I know! I think fire is beautiful on it own, but I had some pretty awesome pictures of the fire coming down the hill behind my parents house with the sun setting behind the hills. It was amazing!

Scary about the chemicals! Are they suggesting you stay inside due to poor air quality?
They haven't said anything for my area, but my dad works in Cudahy and he says he heard that people in that area should close windows and turn off A/C. But I haven't closed windows yet, since my area isn't being directly warned.

(I just saw them carrying a cage with some cats in it that were evacuated to the SM high school. At least the cats have a chance )
post #12 of 17
Its odd that the local news didn't report this fire this morning while I was driving to work, but I heard about it on National Public Radio this afternoon.

I don't know why a meat packing plant has amonia available??

Its a big plant and a big fire. Have you heard a reason that the fire started??

In Green Bay there are a couple meat packing plants and one is enormous so I can understand the concern.
post #13 of 17
The company I work for hauls a lot of their product to other locations. That's how we heard about it.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
Its odd that the local news didn't report this fire this morning while I was driving to work, but I heard about it on National Public Radio this afternoon.

I don't know why a meat packing plant has amonia available??

Its a big plant and a big fire. Have you heard a reason that the fire started??

In Green Bay there are a couple meat packing plants and one is enormous so I can understand the concern.
I haven't figured out why there's ammonia in a meat packing plant... it's weird.

And I haven't heard any reasons as to what exactly started the fire. That's one detail that they're leaving out.
post #15 of 17
A friend of mine who works for Harley-Davidson is one of those that has been evacuated. He's keeping his fingers crossed that he doesn't lose his home.

For all affected by this fire.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mismaris777 View Post
I haven't figured out why there's ammonia in a meat packing plant... it's weird.

And I haven't heard any reasons as to what exactly started the fire. That's one detail that they're leaving out.
I used to work at a fish processing plant, the ammonia is for the freezers. It makes them colder or something, but it's nasty stuff if the fire gets to it.
post #17 of 17
I live to the west of Milwaukee and local tv stations have been giving breaking news updates all day. As of 7 PM, the evacuation order has been lifted and people may return to their homes. Extensive tests have been taken of the ammonia before lifting the order. The fire is still going....

http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/50073197.html
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