Factory explosion injures four

An explosion at Wire Products, 1000 Mathews St., injured four people and blew the steel siding off a large area of the building Monday morning.
The Merrill Fire Department was called to the scene just after 11 a.m. Two of the injured workers were taken to Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center with first and second degree burns. The other two were treated at the scene and did not require medical transport.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire caused by the explosion.
“The fire didn’t cause any structural damage,” said Merrill Fire Chief Bob Odegard. “Most of the damage suffered to the building happened when the sheet metal siding blew out. “
Boxes of product were blown through the walls by the force of the blast.
According to fire department reports, workers were attempting to light a gas-burning industrial dryer used to dry parts in the factory when a pool of built-up gas ignited.
Odegard said further investigation into the explosion won’t be necessary as witness accounts and evidence make it pretty clear what happened.

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