Menomonee Falls - An employee for Veolia Environmental Services Technical Solutions was injured Thursday morning when a chemical mixture caught fire at the company's hazardous materials recycling facility in Menomonee Falls.
Jeff Hevey, fire chief for the Menomonee Falls Fire Department, said the fire may have been caused by a miniature explosion that ruptured a 55-gallon drum during a chemical sampling process. The exact cause of the flash fire is still under investigation. The employee was knocked backward before the chemicals and building caught fire, causing minor injuries, Hevey said. He was transported to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa for a medical evaluation.
The fire, at W124 N9451 Boundary Road, burned 500 square feet of the building. Firefighters were called at 10:07 a.m. and arrived at 10:15 a.m., however, much of the fire was contained due to Veolia's sprinkler system.
"If it wasn't for dry chemicals and the sprinkler system kicking in, we would have had a major issue on our hands," Hevey said.
Veolia personnel also worked to contain the initial blaze before firefighters arrived. Fire crews spent more than three hours on the scene ensuring the blaze was extinguished. The city of Waukesha Hazardous Materials team was also on scene to inspect the damage to the additional chemical containers inside the building.
Damages have not been determined as of press deadline.
- Danielle Switalski
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