Lincoln County company cleans up after fire - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Lincoln County company cleans up after fire

MERRILL (WAOW) -- A Lincoln County company is cleaning up, again. A fire destroyed part of Northern Wire, LLC in Merrill. Firefighters say electric problems sparked the flames that caused $2 million in damage. It happened early Sunday morning.

“While they did have some smoke damage throughout most of the building, it wasn't the heavy smoke damage like in the one area," said Fire Chief Dave Savone.

In fact, Savone says the fire could have been much worse. He credits the companies safety measures for saving the building.

“They're set up with what we call a f usable link, which is a little piece of lead. So, when the fire got hot enough it melted the piece of lead and it closed the fire door and it kept the fire just in that area,” said Savone.

The company makes products from custom wire. Fire officials say damage to the equipment is substantial.

“It appears to be electrical in nature, could have been a switch," explained Savone.

This is an all too familiar site for Northern Wire. In 2011, a tornado ripped through Merrill. It hit Northern Wire hard. The building was destroyed. It took the company months to clean up.

“They functioned very well after the tornado and I see the same people coming in to help them clean up this mess," said Merrill Mayor Bill Bialecki.

Bialecki says that's what makes this company so strong.

"It's going to be a while before they can replace it. But, they have a very good team in place," said Bialecki.

A team, he says, dedicated to overcoming obstacles.

No one from Northern Wire was available to comment. But, the mayor says the rest of the building is open and most of the 160 employees are back to work. He says, no jobs will be lost.

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