(Portage) Fire caused significant damage at Associated Milk Producers, Inc. in Portage on Monday night. The Portage Fire Department was called to 301 Brooks Street around 9:15pm.
Upon arrival, crews found heavy smoke and fire from the roof of the two-three story commercial concrete structure. Firefighters stretched lines to the entrance door but were pushed back by the heat and smoke.
Fire Chief Troy Haase says the blaze started in a room where butter was being stored and as it was heated, it began to flow throughout the structure. He says the butter runoff and heavy smoke slowed access to the building. After multiple hours and assistance from several different fire departments, crews were able to contain the fire and extinguish it before it could spread past the firewalls and throughout the structure.
It has been reported that a part of the roof caved in during the incident. There were no injuries and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Haase did credit Columbia County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Koch (cook) who was able to secure food and water donated by Kwik Trip to feed the firefighters. He says Smith Bus also brought two of their buses to the scene for AMPI workers and first responders to stay warm and rehab.