GLENWOOD CITY — Fire damaged the large chipped wood storage building at the Misty Meadows Wood Products Company located on Glenwood City’s Seventh Street last Tuesday evening.
The 24,000 square foot steel storage building is part of the company’s chipping and wood drying facility that chips wood logs into material for animal bedding and other products. The facility is located just west of the Glenwood City Schools complex.
The Glenwood City Fire Department was called to the facility shortly after seven Tuesday evening, January 13 and the first arriving company could see that the piles of wood chips were on fire. One firefighter described the fire as charcoal in an outside grill glowing red hot.
Heavy smoke and cold weather hampered firefighting activities.
The MABAS (Mutual Aid Box Alarm System) went into effect and that brought more nearly 90 firefighters and EMS personnel and several pieces of fire fighting equipment from 17 area fire departments. It took several hours before firefighters were able to drown the flames and clear smoke out before they could enter the building. Firefighters had to remove some of the steel siding from the west side of the building to get at hot spots.
Glenwood City fire chief Greg Holden reported that firefighters and equipment from Boyceville, United Fire (Woodville, Baldwin and Hammond), New Richmond, Menomonie, Clear Lake, Elmwood, Spring Valley, Elk Mound, Colfax, Roberts, Hudson, and Deer Park helped the Glenwood City Fire Department battle the blaze. Aerials units from Baldwin and Menomonie were also called to assist while engines from Glenwood City, United Fire and Boyceville were used to supply water to firefighters. Many of the other fire departments provided tenders (water) trucks.
EMS units from Glenwood City, Baldwin, and Boyceville and the St. Croix County Mobile Communication’s vehicle were also called to the scene. Glenwood City Police assisted with security and traffic control.
Fire officials were concerned that the need for water for fighting the fire might overload the Glenwood City’s water utility so water was trucked to the scene in tank trucks. Fortunately, the amount of water that was used did not overload the city’s system and it was reported that the utility had plenty of water in its storage facility.
Chief Holden said that there were no injuries reported during the seven hours that firefighters spent on the scene.
John Logghe, owner of the company, stated that approximately 100 tons of chipped wood were lost to the fire. Logghe hoped that the firm could be up a running again by the weekend.
The fire at Misty Meadows was just one day short of the first anniversary of the fire that destroyed Glenhaven’s new facility that was under construction. That facility is currently being rebuilt and is planned to open sometime in mid-April of this year. The Misty Meadows facility is located about four blocks southeast of the Glenhaven Care facility.
Heavy smoke from the fire drifted northwest toward Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Glenhaven, and residences in the six hundred blocks of Oak, Pine and Maple Streets.
Glenhaven administration monitored the situation after staff reported a slight smell of smoke but no evacuation was needed and residents were never in danger.
The cause of the fire is still undetermined.