Fire shuts down AMPI

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 12/29/99.

Fire in two electrical panels a day apart shut down operations at the Associated Milk Producers, Inc., last week.

The Paynesville Area Fire Department was called to AMPI about 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon when an 8-foot high by 4-foot wide electrical panel caught fire. At 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, the fire department returned when another panel started on fire.

Northern States Power (NSP) was called into AMPI to disconnect the panels. The panels are centrally located in the building. They provide power to the boilers, whey evaporators, compressors, and other equipment.

Matt Quade, AMPI manager, said many employees were given an early holiday break while others worked to remedy the situation. On Thursday, crews were trying to install refurbished equipment in hopes of getting AMPI back into operation by Christmas Eve.

Quade said AMPI is shipping milk to other plants until they have power restored. "People have been working hard to get us through this difficulty," he added. "Everybody has cooperated during this emergency."

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