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A fire at a Wisconsin dairy factory melted butter and clogged up a canal

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Portage fire department tackles a blaze which caused melted butter to run into the local canal.The factory blaze occurred on January 2.

Portage Fire Department

  • A fire at a Wisconsin dairy factory caused melted butter to run into a nearby canal.
  • Authorities said the fire started in the butter room, causing it to melt and spread.
  • A hazmat team tried to stop the butter flowing into the canal with absorbent material and booms.

A blaze at a Wisconsin dairy factory caused melted butter to flow into a nearby canal and storm drains despite the best efforts of the local fire department.

In a Facebook post, Portage Fire Department wrote that it was dispatched to an Associated Milk Producers factory in Portage on January 2, and found thick smoke coming from the three-story complex.

“The fire started in a room where butter was being stored and as it was heated it began to flow throughout the structure,” the fire department wrote. “The butter runoff and heavy smoke slowed access to the structure.”

The department said after “multiple hours” of tackling the blaze, it was able to stop the fire before it could spread beyond the building.

Nevertheless, the melted butter escaped from the factory into the adjacent canal. The department said a hazmat team had tried to control the runoff into the canal and storm drains with booms and other absorbent material. 

The fire department said that Wisconsin’s Department for Natural Resources was due to assess damage to the canal and storm drains on Wednesday.

No injuries were reported.

Associated Milk Producers is the largest cheese co-operative in the US, according to its website, with 1,000 employees. Its Portage plant is mainly used to package cheese.

The Portage canal is an historic site, with references to its use by Indigenous Americans, and early French explorers and fur trappers as early as 1640. 

Remediation work for the 2.5 mile canal including dredging is ongoing, with progress delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the original article on Business Insider