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Warehouse destroyed by fire in Fort Atkinson

FORT ATKINSON, Wis. (AP) — A large warehouse fire in Fort Atkinson forced neighbors to evacuate and sent some of the 150 firefighters battling the blaze to the hospital with heat-related medical issues.

The fire Tuesday destroyed the warehouse as thick black smoke billowed from the blaze fed by burning tires stored in the building.

Emergency personnel from five counties were called to help fight the blaze. Fire Chief Daryl Rausch said firefighters worked in 20-minute shifts due to the intensity of the heat.

Some firefighters overcome by the heat were treated at the scene and some were taken to a local hospital.

The state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency were on site monitoring the quality of the water and air in the area, the State Journal reported.

About 50 people who evacuated the neighborhood after the fire started around noon were back in their homes by 8 p.m.

Rausch said crews nearly “drained the city water system” while fighting the fire, leading to the department’s decision to let the rest of the building and its contents burn.

City officials said residents in the area could expect low water pressure and discolored water related to firefighting efforts.

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