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Mauston meat processing plant loses storefront in fire

Store owners said the buildings are a complete loss
Wisconsin River Meats lost all of their processing equipment in a fire on Thursday.
Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 6:14 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 4, 2022 at 6:23 PM CST
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MAUSTON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin River Meats lost all of their processing equipment in a fire on Thursday.

Store management is trying to manage the wreckage while smoke is still smoldering from the remaining walls.

“It’s heartbreaking to stand here and see that and just remember what happened yesterday morning,” Wisconsin River Meats Manager Denise Wee said. “I sat right here in the corner of this office for five years. I don’t know how you get past your whole world being turned upside down. I just know that we’re a positive group of people.”

Owner John Hamm said no employees or animals were hurt during the blaze.

“Multiple fire departments fought hard to do what they could and it was a battle,” Hamm said. “All of us were in the building trying to get stuff out and trying to save our stuff.”

Hamm said Mauston, Elroy, Quincy and New Lisbon Fire Departments worked to keep the fire from reaching one of their buildings that’s currently under construction.

Wee said she hoped no employees will lose their jobs as a result of the fire.

“We’re keeping most if not all them on for now but there’s so much undetermined right now,” she said. “Obviously if I don’t have a store to operate I don’t have a place for our cashier to work.”

“We’ll be back,” Hamm said. “It won’t be as quick as we’d like but we’ll be back.”

They cannot start the cleanup process yet because the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Wee said another meat processing store in Cadott, Wisconsin is helping them with meat orders that were not damaged.

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