Subject: Commercial Fire at 1120 5th Avenue North, Wisconsin Rapids
At 2018 hours (8:18 p.m.), the Wisconsin Rapids Fire Department was dispatched to the VERSO Mill in the City of Wisconsin Rapids for a commercial fire. Dispatch information was a smokestack with flames, and possible flames on the roof. A fiberglass stack that was part of the idle hardwood digester caught fire. Fire and heat compromised the stack causing a collapse, which then started subsequent fires in and around the digester tower.
Fire service personnel in coordination with mill employees mitigated the fire. The fire was declared under control at approximately 2145 (9:45 p.m.). Firefighters remained on scene until approximately 0100 (1:00 a.m.). Approximately 60 firefighters responded to the scene; assisting were Port Edwards Fire, Grand Rapids Fire, Biron Fire, Nekoosa Fire, Vesper Fire, Rudolph Fire, and the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department and Saratoga First Responders.
One firefighter was treated and released on scene for symptoms of heat exhaustion. No Verso employees were injured. Damage assessment continues and it appears the fire damage was limited to the stack area in the number 1 digester building. Cause is undetermined at this time.
The Wisconsin Rapids Fire Department would like to thank the mutual aid departments that responded and assisted with this incident.
For more information, contact:
Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal
Wisconsin Rapids Fire Department
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – The City of Wisconsin Rapids seeks community input on renaming the Wisconsin Rapids Recreation Complex (WRRC), which is the entire park located at 681 Chestnut St., including the Aquatics Center, skate park, playground equipment, splash pad, outdoor shelter, tennis court, and pickleball courts.
From June 1st through June 30th, the public can submit naming suggestions to the Park & Recreation Office at City Hall and at the WRRC Aquatics Center. Those submitting a suggestion are asked to share their name and contact information, so that they may be recognized if their suggestion is selected. They are not required to identify themselves, however. Park names should have some relevance to our community.
In August, the community will be asked to vote on the park’s name from a short list of options, including community suggestions, staff suggestions and a Mayor’s Youth Council suggestion. In September, the City will unveil the new name for the park.
“This is an opportunity for residents, funders and users to get involved in naming a park that they built – through their tax dollars, donations and attendance. I look forward to seeing all the creative ideas, especially those from area youth,” said Mayor Shane Blaser.
On March 15th, the Parks & Recreation Commission voted in favor of exploring renaming options for the WRRC. Staff developed a renaming plan, which prioritizes user input.
To learn more about the WRRC, visit wirapids.org/wrrc-aquatics.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS -- Mayor Shane Blaser has issued a proclamation for National Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Week (May 16-22).
Running every third week of May, EMS Week recognizes the value and accomplishments of emergency medical service providers. EMS Week was first declared by President Gerald Ford in 1974.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS -- Mayor Shane Blaser has issued a proclamation for National Public Works Week.
Instituted in 1960 by the American Public Works Association in 1960, this week recognizes the importance of public works employees in everyday life.
Public works employees are vital to the community, and May 16-22 is used to honor these often unsung heroes.
WISCONSIN RAPIDS -- Mayor Shane Blaser has issued a proclamation for National Police Week.
President John F. Kennedy first proclaimed National Police Week in 1962 to honor law enforcement around the nation. The week runs from May 9-15, with May 15 recognized as National Peace Officers Memorial Day.