Wisconsin Plant Fire Caused By Military Flare

CUDAHY, Wis. (AP) -- Police say a massive fire that gutted part of a southeastern Wisconsin meatpacking plant started when a military flare landed on the roof.

Cudahy (CUH'-duh-hay) police said Tuesday there's no indication the military fired the flare. Authorities aren't elaborating on the nature of the flare, but federal, state and local agencies are offering a $16,000 reward for information about who may have fired it.

The flare ignited the Patrick Cudahy Inc. plant on the night of July 5. The blaze lasted more than two days and caused an estimated $50 million or more in damages.

It also prompted a temporary evacuation of thousands of area residents because of the possibility of an ammonia explosion.

Cudahy is a town of about 18,000 just south of downtown Milwaukee.

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