An early Sunday morning fire at Northern Wire LLC caused an estimated $2 million in damages to the structure, equipment and contents.
At 1:30 a.m. Sunday, the Merrill Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a large amount of smoke coming from the roof of the manufacturing facility at 110 Taylor St. Upon arrival, the shift commander reported heavy smoke was visible on the east side of the building at the roof line. Further investigation found a great deal of fire in the metal plating area of the factory.
Merrill Fire Department deployed an aggressive interior attack from the unburned side of the structure. The fire company made their way into the structure with the use of a thermal imaging camera to the seat of the fire and brought the main fire under control. Because the fire was in the plating area of the factory and the unknown chemicals, the Wausau Fire Department Hazardous Material Team was put in standby. A fire-rated overhead door with a fusible link kept the fire in the room of origin.
With the recent approval of Lincoln County MABAS Division #155 from the State of Wisconsin MABAS, a box alarm was deployed. Merrill received assistance from Corning Fire Department, Town of Maine Fire Department, Wausau Fire Department, Town of Texas Fire Department, Tomahawk EMS and Pine River Fire Department. Perimeter and scene control was provided by Merrill Police Department and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office with their traffic control trailer. Firefighter rehab and support services were given by the Salvation Army Canteen truck out of Wausau.
Interviews were conducted by the Fire Department with the Supervisor of Maintenance for Northern Wire and he reported that the metal plating production line was last operating on Friday night. The fire is under investigation and appears to be electrical in nature. No injuries to citizens or on scene firefighters were reported.