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October 18, 2019

Heather Holmes/Lakeland TimesThe ladder on the Woodruff fire departmentís new fire truck was used on the evening of Sept. 4, as firefighters extinguished a fire in a silo at Pukall Lumber in Arbor Vitae. There were no injuries and company officials indicated damage was minimal. Pukall Lumber president Rick Wilson said the silo is part of the companyís boiler system that provides steam heat to its dry kilns.
Heather Holmes/Lakeland Times


The ladder on the Woodruff fire departmentís new fire truck was used on the evening of Sept. 4, as firefighters extinguished a fire in a silo at Pukall Lumber in Arbor Vitae. There were no injuries and company officials indicated damage was minimal. Pukall Lumber president Rick Wilson said the silo is part of the companyís boiler system that provides steam heat to its dry kilns.
9/12/2019 7:23:00 AM
No injuries, minimal damage in Pukall silo fire

Brian Jopek
Lakeland Times Reporter


Firefighters from Arbor Vitae, Woodruff, St. Germain and Minocqua responded to a fire at Pukall Lumber on State Highway 70 in Arbor Vitae Sept. 4.

The fire, in the company's hog fuel silo, was under control and incident command was releasing units from the scene within roughly just over 90 minutes after the first report of the fire to the dispatch center at the Vilas County Sheriff's Office at 7:49 p.m.

"It did not result in any property damage or injury," according to a press release issued by the company Sept. 5. "Manufacturing operations are running as usual today."

Pukall Limber's president, Rick Wilson, said in the press release the cause of the fire was a "stray spark from the smoke stack appears to have started the fire in the cement fuel silo."

"Our boiler operator followed company protocols exactly by performing the system checks and implementing the safety plan immediately," he said. "As a result, the fire was contained and there was no injury to anyone."

Wilson said fire department personnel "did an admirable job" and he also said he was thankful for the Woodruff Fire Department's new ladder truck, which was used to spray water from above the silo.

"The silo storage facility was built about 40 years ago and has been in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without incident until last night's fluke event," the Pukall press release continued. "(Boiler operator) Dave Kuhnert's quick thinking, coupled with the great communication with supervisor Bert Berns, who drove back from his home in Rhinelander, and Courtney Rehm, who serves on the Arbor Vitae Volunteer Fire Department, helped the area fire departments put out the fire quickly and without serious consequence."

Brian Jopek may be reached via email at bjopek@lakelandtimes.com.





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