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Largest Fire in Wausau History Remembered

By: Sabrina Wu
By: Sabrina Wu

"These are the type of buildings that firefighters die in." Wausau Fire Captain Tom Leslie said, remembering a blaze that destroyed a warehouse at Third and Fulton streets a year ago Sunday.

Leslie says that large buildings are especially treacherous for firefighters. Because of the many wide spaces open, larger buildings have a huge risk of structural damage. Firefighters trying to attack the blaze from the inside could be trapped or killed.

"On this particular night, we had crews in there three or four times to get at the fire from different flanks." Leslie recalled. "Because the fire was so large, these tactics weren't effective."

Once they gave up trying to save the warehouse, however, they were able to contain the fire by using a defensive strategy. The captain says if it wasn't for the way all the departments there worked together, they never would've been able to keep the fire from spreading to other buildings.


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