Just before 8:00 am local time, a fire was reported at Summerset Marine Construction in Eagle, Wisconsin, approximately 35 miles outside Milwaukee. An initial explosion occurred around 7:40 am, with multiple follow-up explosions occurring in its wake. The cause of these explosions is currently unclear.
The 24 people inside the building when the explosions and fire broke out have all been accounted for; three civilians were injured, one of which was sent to the hospital for surgery after suffering a broken femur. The others had sustained concussions and were treated on the scene. Three firefighters were affected by heat exhaustion, one of which was sent to the hospital in good condition.
The Kettle Moraine Fire District has since upgraded the event to a 2-alarm fire, requiring assistance from other departments. Multiple agencies are responding to the incident, putting approximately 100 personnel on scene. Units from Milwaukee, Kenosha, and Washington counties have joined forces with those from Waukesha County. A therapy dog from the Western Lakes Fire Department is among them, helping to support the first responders.
Despite the response, it could be hours before the fire is put out.
One civilian’s account from inside the building at the time of the explosions: “A ball of flames came through the wall,” he said. “And then explosion after explosion after that…Everything’s gone.”
By 10:00 am, students attending nearby Eagle Elementary School were safely evacuated to Palmyra Middle and High School and could be picked up by their parents. Those within a mile radius of the fire were ordered to shelter in place, with advisories to close windows and avoid running air conditioning units.
The investigation into the cause of the explosions and fire is still underway as flames still burn. Our plant explosion lawyers are following this incident closely.