July 13, 2002 -A fire fueled by tons of paper and magazines
consumed a 10-story building on the grounds of a large printing
plant in southeastern Wisconsin, causing one death, authorities
About 330 workers were evacuated Friday night before the
fire broke out at about 9:30 p.m., said Fond du Lac Battalion
Chief Jim Feiereisen. Police said the dead person had not
been identified by late Saturday morning.
Workers on break at the Quad/Graphics printing facility
in Lomira, Wisconsin, reported smoke to managers, who ordered
the evacuation, Feiereisen said.
A large portion of the building collapsed around the time
the fire broke out, however it was not clear if the fire
caused the collapse. About 15 employees were working in
that area, Feiereisen said.
The Dodge County Sheriff's Department said most of the
fire was put out two hours after the initial call. However,
live video showed the fire continue almost unabated as it
consumed a storage building, causing its sides to partially
collapse around 12:45 a.m.
The area where the fire broke out was a new part of the
printing plant that had only been in operation for a month,
Feiereisen said. The 10-story building was used for paper
storage and contained 25,000 palettes of paper with 1 ton
of paper on each palette, he said.
The printing plant houses an apartment complex and a full-service
medical clinic for its 2,000-plus employees.
Quad/Graphics says its Lomira plant is the largest, single
printing facility in the Western hemisphere.
area fire departments helped fight the blaze in Lomira,
about 50 miles northwest of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Feiereisen
The cause of the fire was unknown, although Feiereisen
said there were unconfirmed reports of an explosion before
it broke out.