Snowplow moves eight after fire and explosion in Waupaca apartments


WAUPACA, Wis. (WBAY) – Eight people escaped a building fire this morning in Waupaca, without being injured.

Crews responded to a report of a gas leak at the Countryside Estates Apartments at 517 Wisconsin St at 9:02 am The building is intended for the elderly and people with disabilities.

The Waupaca Area Fire District said it was a natural gas explosion in a laundry room in the building. Authorities say a snow plow hit a gas meter.

Teams respond to an explosion in an apartment in Waupaca. December 11, 2021(WBAY)

All eight residents escaped without damage.

“There was someone on the scene, a private citizen who was helping the evacuation and getting them out. So, between the local law enforcement and a nearby private citizen, they took them out before the explosion, ”said Captain Steve Fenske, from the Waupaca region fire district.

The American Red Cross helps the displaced by providing them with meals and refreshments. Health service teams also assess immediate health needs such as temporary / replacement outpatient resources and prescription refills. Our teams provide mental health resources to those in need.

“They are working with local pharmacies to get all the medications the residents need. And finally, probably later this afternoon, to work with the local law enforcement who will let them in to take out some of their personal belongings, but they will not be able to return to the apartment at this time, ”said the Capt Fenske.

The building will be uninhabitable for now, but an adult daycare just across the street has opened for displaced residents.

“CaHoots opened its doors, it is an establishment of services for adults. So they opened their doors to at least get the residents in and put them there until we could start to find them, where they can start to find them temporary accommodation, ”said Captain Fenske.

Waupaca Police and Fire Services received help from 13 other first responders in the area, including WE Energies, who cut the line to prevent further explosions.

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