Menominee lifts shelter-in-place order after paper mill fire

The fire swept through Resolute Forest Products and two other companies' warehouses
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 5:21 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 9, 2022 at 9:05 PM CDT
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MENOMINEE/MARINETTE (WBAY) - A massive fire in Menominee, Mich., continued to burn at 6 o’clock Friday evening.

The shelter-in-place order in Menominee has been lifted as of 7:00 AM on Sunday according to the Menominee County Emergency Management. The order was confirmed to be expired as scheduled.

Officials say the area involved includes 10th Street to the Bay of East Green Bay and 6th Avenue south of the Menominee River.

A shelter-in-place order recommends that you:

  • Go inside and take any pets with you
  • Close and lock all windows and doors
  • Turn off all fans, air conditioner, and furnace if possible. Close the fireplace damper if not in use.
  • Got to an internal room without windows if possible
  • Wait for the “all clear”

The shelter-in-place order for Marinette was lifted Friday evening.

Officials tell us the fire started about 10:41 p.m. Thursday. A spokesperson for Resolute Forest Products says the fire started in a warehouse that contained pulp and waste paper.

The assistant fire chief from Marinette says the fire then swept east through two other companies’ warehouses and swept through again. The flames spread into the warehouse area of KK Integrated Logistics then hit the warehouse of Johnson Controls, burning everything in its path.

“A fire started last night in the warehouse that Resolute rents from KK Integrated Logistics on the site of our Menominee recycled pulp mill. Local fire departments have been on-site all night, and the fire is under control, although smoke is still billowing due to smoldering in the warehouse. Everyone is all right, and there were no injuries. An excavator was used to remove some of the exterior building panels so the fire truck with a boom could be used to spray further into the building. We continue to work with emergency response to contain the fire, understand what happened and prevent it from happening again. We acted quickly, and would like to reassure local stakeholders that the safety of the community and our employees is our top priority,” says David Marshall, Director, Sustainability & Public Affairs.

Marinette Assistant Fire Chief Shawn Timblin said it’s the biggest blaze he’s seen since becoming a firefighter. The fire was so big, officials say they had to bring in crews from one hour away.

Thick smoke continued to rise from the Resolute Forest Products building at 701 4th Ave in Menominee.

A Declaration of Emergency was issued by Menominee County and the Michigan State Office of Emergency Management.

Marinette County Emergency Management activated the Emergency Alert System for TV and radio Friday afternoon because of air quality concerns in portions of the city of Marinette. People were advised to go indoors with their pets, close their doors and windows, and turn off their fans and furnace to prevent smoke from getting into their house. Police placed barricades at locations including Stephenson Island, 6th Street Slip, Menekaunee Harbor, and Boom Landing.

Even when the shelter-in-place alert was lifted, people are asked to avoid the Menominee River and shoreline because of the potential for soot fallout from the fire.

The Menominee Fire Department said there have been no injuries from the fire.

The firefighters we spoke to said they could definitely be here all night.

Menominee Police say several departments provided mutual aid, including Marinette, Menominee County and Marinette County.

“A Declaration of Emergency was issued by Menominee County and the Office of Emergency Management regarding the incident. Michigan EGLE was also notified for any environmental issues. No injuries reported at this time,” reads a statement from Menominee Police.

The public is asked to avoid the area for their safety and the safety of responders.

Action 2 News has been reporting from across the river in Marinette. We haven’t been allowed closer to the scene.

The company’s website says the mill employs 98 people.

The company has 40 facilities across the United States and Canada.