Six people were injured — including three firefighters — after several explosions at a marine construction company in Wisconsin sparked a massive five-alarm blaze that prompted the evacuation of a nearby elementary school.
The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of an industrial accident at the Summerset Marine Construction in Eagle, about 35 miles southwest of Milwaukee, at around 7:45 a.m. Thursday morning.
In total, six people were injured — three civilians and three firefighters — officials said at a press conference, WTMJ reported.
One civilian was taken to the hospital with serious injuries and a firefighter was hospitalized with minor injuries, according to local officials. The rest were treated at the scene.
Responders arrived at the scene within minutes and immediately began evacuating employees from the area, according to the sheriff’s department.
The roof of the site had already collapsed by the time firefighters arrived, cutting them off from the source of the fire. By late afternoon Thursday the fire was still burning, officials said.
Due to the lack of fire hydrants in the area, all the water used to fight the blaze was brought to the scene by water tenders.
It’s not clear at this time what caused the fire. After the initial 911 call, several other explosions were reported.
According to the company’s website, it builds piers and docks at its 24,000-square-foot facility that includes a showroom, office, factory and warehouse.
The sheriff’s office issued a shelter in place order for a one-mile radius surrounding the building. Officials said there is no danger to the community, however urged residents to remain inside due to excessive smoke.
Students from the Eagle Elementary School, which is located about a quarter mile from the scene, were evacuated by buses to Palmyra Eagle High School where they reunited with their families, according to the sheriff’s office.
A school official reported feeling the building shake around 7:50 a.m. and seeing smoke from the school but said no one was injured as there were no students in the school at the time of the first blast, according to WTMJ.