By Correne Martin
A small explosion and fire occurred at Universal Forest Products on Lessard Street in Prairie du Chien just before 11 a.m. Thursday, June 4. All plant employees were accounted for and no injuries were reported.
The cause is yet undetermined, but the explosion happened when a spark ignited outside the plant in the bag house, where sawdust is collected. The building shook, one employee said, but no one was immediately near the site of the flash when it occurred. According to Prairie du Chien Fire Chief Harry Remz, there was minimal damage but a lot of smoke. Employees were evacuated from the plant for about an hour but resumed work by the afternoon. About a half-dozen fire trucks, the Prairie du Chien Police Department, Tri-State Ambulance and a local electric company responded to the scene.