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Fri February 20, 2009
Fire in Laramie Leads to Evacuations and Highway Closure
By Renny MacKay
Laramie, WY – The old Ice Plant north of Laramie burned down today. Flames and smoke were visible from points across the city.
The fire probably started around eleven this morning. Two hours later the blaze continued to put off plumes of black smoke. Fire chief Randy Vickers was keeping an eye on the ice plant and the winds that fueled the fire.
"We're getting spot fires in town now. This is going to go on for a while now there's 40 mile an hour wind. We've got it pretty well contained. We're not too worried about that exposure. It's going to burn down though, it's a pretty heavy fuel load."
The old Ice Plant was storing lumber. Vickers says that is what provided so much fuel for this fire.
The fire did close down highway 287 north of Laramie for several hours today.
Vickers, said everyone was safe, but they were working hard to protect other structures in the area including the Western Research Institute facility nearby.
"It's an industrial operation so they have hydrogen, propane, a lot of coal, oil so yeah we have to keep it out of there," Vickers said. As for a cause not much is known at this point. "We believe the fire started external, outside. We don't have any other information," he said. "We'll investigate that when we get this under control."