May 22, 2023 – Town of Polk, Wi – On May 21, 2023 at approximately 7:23 p.m. the Washington County Communications Center began taking 911 calls reporting smoke and flame coming from Oak Creek Wood Products, which is located alongside I-41 south of Slinger in the Town of Polk.
Video courtesy Property Loss Management
The first responding Deputy observed dark smoke coming from the area while still en route. Slinger Fire was subsequently paged to the scene.
Upon the first deputy’s arrival, a piece of equipment and a mulch pile were found to be actively on fire and spreading quickly in the rear of the business. The response was upgraded to the MABAS Box level.
Due to the nature of the business and the amount of flammable material, the fire continued to spread rapidly on large mulch piles and stacked pallets, before also entering the building itself, which is located closer to the interstate.
The fire response was again upgraded multiple times for additional resources and tenders. I-41 southbound was shut down at Hwy-60 for approximately one hour while containment was still being established on the scene.
Fire personnel were successful in preventing the spread into the entire building, stopping it in the back portion. The effort then switched to preventing the spread into other mulch and wood piles.
Fire crews are expected to be on scene into the morning of 5/22 as they continue to try and extinguish the many areas that continue to burn and smolder.
These piles are being systematically disassembled with excavation equipment and then wet down.
There were no injuries reported as a result of the fire or the firefighting efforts. There is no damage assessment at this time, as the incident and investigation are still ongoing.
Slinger Fire was assisted by upwards of 20 other fire departments during the incident, and the Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Slinger and Jackson Police Departments and the Wisconsin State Patrol.
Below is the initial story from May 21, 2023
Twenty departments are on scene of a structure fire 3247 Sherman Way in Slinger. The address traces to Oak Creek Pallet which is a Pallet wholesaler.
UPDATE – Emergency management is asking for a strike force of five tankers from Ozaukee County.
Click HERE to see DOT camera footage of the fire from I41
The call came in just before 8 p.m. Assisting are Jackson, Hartford, Richfield, St. Lawrence, Allenton, Germantown, and West Bend. Lifestar has also responded, and the Washington County Sheriff has been called to the scene.
Nine additional tankers have been requested. This is now a 5-alarm fire. Tankers are being brought in from as far north as Lomira and as far south as Lake Country.
West Bend responding plus four fire departments out of Waukesha. The Washington County Sheriff’s fire investigator has been requested.
Also responding Kohlsville, Menomonee Falls, Kewaskum, Boltonville, and Fillmore.
The fire is reportedly spreading into the marsh. The fire can be seen off I41 south of Sherman Road.
This is a working story, and more information will be posted when details are available.