Firefighters Battle Grass Fire Near Ammunition Plant

Firefighters Battle Grass Fire Near Ammunition Plant

21 March 2006

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MADISON, Wis. — Fire crews were busy at the old Badger Ammunition Plant on Tuesday afternoon, trying to keep a large grass fire from igniting potential explosions.

Workers using a torch to dismantle scrap metal ignited the 15-acre blaze when a spark flew off in gusty, northwest winds, WISC-TV reported.

The fire came very close to old wooden structures, but flames were kept from reaching the main campus of buildings. No explosions occurred.

Joan Kenney, installation director at the plant, said that they were worried about the flammability risks at the plant.

“The biggest problem with that is the potential, if the building contains explosive materials, there’s a potential for an explosive reacting during the fire,” Kenney said.

Currently, a couple hundred workers are in the process of dismantling the idled plant.

The U.S. Army is preparing to turn the facility over to the state Department of Natural Resouces, the Ho-Chunk nation and other parties.

In its heyday during World War II, the plant employed 10,000 people, WISC-TV reported.

However, the plant has been dormant since the Vietnam era.


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