911 Calls Convey Scene Minutes After Sartell Mill Explosion
You can hear exactly what happened during the seconds and minutes after the massive fire started at the Verso Paper Mill in Sartell on Memorial Day.
5 EYEWITNESS News obtained the emergency radio calls, and when you listen, you can hear chaos and confusion in the people's voices who are at the scene.
One person says, "Send me what you got, we got a major deal going on at the paper mill!"
Another person says, "We're going to need more deputies here, this fire is huge!"
Another person says, "Activate full mutual aid department aerials, pumpers, tankers. We do have a major disaster!"
Ninety-two fire departments from around the state helped fight the fire that burned for seven days.
City officials tell 5 EYEWITNESS News that the mayor, firefighters, and some mill employees listened to some of the emergency calls during a de-briefing this month.
They talked about working together, what they could have done better, and how in the future, they need to come up with a plan that focuses on coordinating a massive fire fight.
The Mayor's office says during the meeting, they talked about using social media to educate the public, like using Twitter, to alert people to road closures or dangers.
There is also new concern for the community now. A spokesperson for Verso says layoffs have already happened at the mill and more layoffs could happen. The spokesperson refused to say how many employees have been laid off.