Over 100K gallons of water used to fight fire at Portage dairy plant

Portage Ampi Fire
Courtesy of Jackie Jeske

PORTAGE, Wis. — A fire caused significant damage to Associated Milk Producers, Inc. in Portage Monday night.

The fire broke out just after 9 p.m. at the facility in the 300 block of Brook Street.

Heavy smoke and fire could be seen from the roof of the building when firefighters arrived. Crews from numerous nearby departments were called in to help battle the blaze.

Portage Fire Chief Troy Haase said the fire began in a storage room filled with butter. As the butter was heated, it melted and flowed throughout the building, making it even harder for firefighters to move throughout the facility.

The Portage Hazmat Team was called to the scene to contain the runoff and placed a boon and other absorbents. The DNR was set to further assess the runoff on Tuesday.

Poynette-Dekorra Fire Department officials said their apparatus pumped about 2,000 gallons of water per minute to fight the fire, totaling over 100,000 gallons. Heavy smoke and heat made it tough for firefighters to access the inside of the building.

AMPI officials reported that all employees were evacuated safely and emergency responders were called immediately. The Portage Police Department confirmed no injuries have been reported and that fire crews were on scene until after 3 a.m.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation but Haase said foul play is not suspected.