WAHOO, Neb. — Firefighters contained a blaze Wednesday at a meat locker that is home to the popular “Wahoo Wiener.''
Workers at Wahoo Locker escaped the downtown building without injury, an employee said.
Smoke pouring out of the smokehouse brought volunteer firefighters to the business about 2 p.m.
Saunders County Sheriff Kevin Stukenholtz said an explosion caused the fire, which quickly moved into an adjacent storage building.
An estimated 80 firefighters from surrounding communities joined the fight to keep the blaze from damaging neighboring businesses.
Steve Manstedt of Manstedt Construction was working on a concrete project with his crew in the alley behind the locker. “We just saw it start smoking,” he said.
At first, he thought owner Charlie Emswiler was smoking meat, Manstedt said. But then he saw Emswiler rush out and turn off the breaker.
Shortly after that, large puffs of smoke were billowing out of the building.
“It went fast,” he said.
Firefighters from Wahoo, Weston, Cedar Bluffs, Malmo, Mead, Ceresco, Colon and Ithaca were called.
Aerial trucks from Wahoo and Cedar Bluffs pumped water on Wahoo Locker as well as the roof of Triple C Storage, the next-door storage unit business. It took more than two hours to put out the fire.
No damage reports from the fire were available.
Last year, Emswiler announced a plan to expand his business at Fifth and Maple Streets.
He has purchased the former Bern hardware and building supply store, and planned to move his operation to that location by this fall.
Wahoo, a community of 4,500 people, is about 30 miles west of Omaha.
This report includes material from the Associated Press.