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Wisconsin historic canal filled with butter after dairy plant catches fire

A historic Wisconsin canal was filled with butter Monday evening after a fire broke out at a historic dairy plant. 

Firefighters in Portage, Wisconsin were called to the Associated Milk Producers Inc. (AMPI) plant after 9 p.m. Monday for a fire alarm

Fire crews attempted to gain access to the building, but heavy smoke and, primarily, butter runoff prevented them from entering, the Portage Fire Department said. 

VIDEO SHOWS HISTORIC PORTLAND CHURCH ENGULFED IN FLAMES; CRIME UNIT INVESTIGATING CAUSE

Fire Chief Troy Haase told WMTV that firefighters were “up to their knees” in butter. 

“When we first tried to go up the stairs to that part that collapsed, this stuff, the butter was running down like 3 inches thick on the steps so our guys were up to their knees trying to go up the steps to get to the top, and they’re trying to drag the hose line, the hose line got so full of butter they couldn’t hang onto it anymore,” Haase said.

The Fire Department later determined that the blaze had started in the room where butter was being stored. As it heated, the butter began to flow throughout the structure. 

Crews extinguished the fire before it could spread past the firewalls and throughout the building. A hazmat team was called in to contain the runoff into the storm sewers and the canal using a boom and other absorbents. 

No injuries were reported. The fire remains under investigation. 

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