MARSHFIELD, Wis. (WHBL) - A pressurized metal tank exploded early today at a commercial door factory in central Wisconsin. It happened just after three a-m at Marshfield Door Systems, and it sent debris flying up to a half-mile away. Reports said one person suffered minor injuries, but Marshfield Fire Chief Jim Schmidt said the toll could have been much worse had it occurred just a few minutes earlier. He told W-D-L-B Radio the explosion occurred about 15 minutes after eight employees ended their shift, and the next shift had not come in yet. It occurred in a tank 40-feet long and six-and-a-half feet in diameter. When it exploded, Schmidt said the tank quote, “laid open like a pop can” and two other adjacent units were knocked off their foundations. There was no fire, but two vehicles next to the explosion were destroyed. One media report said the total damage will likely be over a-million-dollars. Schmitt said it’s too early to tell what caused the blast. The National Weather Service said a thunderstorm went through Marshfield around that time – but it’s not known if the weather was a factor. The plant is closed today. And while the area of the blast had just a few workers, one employee estimated that up to 100 people were working in other parts of the facility. The incident occurred in an area where core material is made for fire-proof doors. Marshfield Door Systems was recently purchased by Masonite Incorporated of Tampa. The plant goes back to the 1890’s, and it started making doors in 1908.
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