We have all heard the saying “don’t cry over spilled milk”, but what about spilled butter?

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A week ago, a fire at a Midwest dairy plant spilled butter into a storm sewer and canal.

On Monday night, January 2nd, firefighters in Portage, Wisconsin were called to an Associated Milk Producers Inc. cheese processing and packaging plant. According to a Facebook post from the department, crews arrived on the scene to find heavy smoke and fire from the roof of the building.

The fire began in a room where butter was being stored. As the butter heated up, it began to flow through the building. The combination of butter runoff and heavy smoke slowed access to the building.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, around 20 gallons of butter flowed into the adjacent canal via storm sewers.

In a release from Thursday, January 5th, the DNR said;

Most of the butter that left the facility exited via the sanitary sewer and traveled to the wastewater treatment plant. Wastewater plant personnel have been clearing butter out of the plant since the incident.

The sewers were cleared of the butter with the help of the volume of fire suspension water that flushed through during the firefighters’ efforts to contain the fire. Absorbent booms were also deployed in the canal to contain the butter.

After multiple hours and crews working together, the fire was contained and extinguished. No injuries were reported from the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Portage Fire Department
Portage Fire Department

Associated Milk Producers Inc. is the largest cheese cooperative based in the United States.

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