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UPDATE: La Crosse scrapyard had 100 cars on fire, department used thousands of gallons to control



The plumes of smoke that got so many people’s attention near La Crosse on Friday was due to a large fire in La Crosse’s north industrial park.

Fire officials are still investigating the blaze at Alter Metal Recycling.

Crews got to the scrapyard on Hauser Street in La Crosse’s industrial park around 5 p.m.

They, however, had limited ability to move around due to the number of scrapped cars, plus high-voltage transmission lines were direcly above.

Those had to be powered down, so crews could fight the fire from up high.

“Several thousand gallons per minute were needed to control the fire that took nearly two hours,” Battalion Chief Jeff Schott said in a statement. “Once under control, firefighters worked with Alter employees, who operated heavy equipment to move cars and extinguish hot spots.”

The department estimates at least 100 cars were on fire at one point.

One business nearby was evacuated, while another had their employees shelter in place due to heavy

In the end, 24 firefighters were at the incident and eight vehicles.

Assisting were the La Crosse Police Department, Tri-State Ambulance, Xcel Energy, which shut down those transmission lines, La Crosse County Emergency Dispatch and the Salvation Army.

Holmen and Shelby’s fire departments assisted by providing coverage on the north and south sides of lacrosse during the incident.

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