Dairyland Power Plant Explosion Follow Up

An explosion at a power plant in western Wisconsin over the weekend resulted in a fire reaching three stories of the plant. The Dairyland Power Cooperative plant in Alma caught fire after an explosion late Saturday night.

The cause of the fire and how much damage was done has yet to be determined. Fox 25/48's Neil Hebert was in Alma today with reaction.

"That is a dangerous place to work; it's a dangerous place to be around."

Alma fire chief, Tom Brakke, says working with electricity on such a big scale there are dangers at all times.

"There are a lot of things that can go wrong at any particular time. It's just a risk of the job."

Some people in Alma say they saw fire trucks head onto the scene and followed them toward the plant. They wouldn't speak on camera but say you couldn't really see much from outside other than some smoke. They said they can't remember the last time the plant had something like this happen to it.

In his 19-year career with the fire department, Brakke says this is the first major incident he's dealt with at the plant.

"We've responded to some small, incidental fires that happen. The coal dust is very susceptible to burning. That's what powers the plant. We've been down there to help them with a few of those incidentals, but nothing like this, not in my career."

It's a scary situation according to Brakke, but he says Dairyland Power has always had a safety-first mentality.

"Besides all of the high pressure and all of the electricity that goes through there that is dangerous, most of it is very safety-orientated. They're a great bunch of people to work with down there as far as that's concerned and they're always very concerned about our safety when we go down there and the safety of their own people."

The plant is not currently running and no one lost power due to the plant being shut down.

In Alma, Neil Hebert, Fox 25/48 News at Nine.


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