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Specialized MFD team rescues five workers stranded 300 feet up at Valley Power Plant

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Fire Department's HURT (Heavy Urban Rescue Team) was called to We Energies' Valley Power Plant near 10th and Canal in Milwaukee after five workers became trapped on one of the stacks -- 300 feet up in the air.

The workers became trapped around 5:15 p.m. Monday, November 24th. We're told one of the workers became trapped in an elevator, and the other four were outside on a platform. Those workers were unable to come down, because the elevator wasn't functioning.

We Energies officials said the four workers stuck outside had a heater with them on the platform. No injuries were reported.

Two firefighters were sent up to the platform, and they were working to lower the workers one-by-one.

As of 10:15 p.m., two workers were lowered safely, and crews were working to lower the additional two workers, and the firefighter. Officials say everyone was safely on the ground by midnight.

"I believe they're using some rappelling equipment. I don't know if rappelling is the appropriate term, but the deputy chief has indicated that's how they'll be lowering each individual one at a time," Barry McNulty with We Energies said.

The worker stuck in the elevator was able to be rescued and we're told that worker is okay.

According to the We Energies website, the Valley Power Plant was built  in 1968. It was designed to generate 280 megawatts of electricity for the grid and supply steam for more than 300 customers in downtown Milwaukee. The plant not only produces electricity and steam, but also providing voltage support for the downtown area.

The We Energies site says electricity at the Valley Power Plant "is generated by burning coal in a furnace to create heat. In a boiler, the heat converts water into steam, which drives a turbine that drives a generator to make electricity."

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.


  • jeff clapp

    “The plant not only produces electricity and steam, but also providing voltage support for the downtown area.” Not counting the terrible grammar in this sentence, does the reporter think voltage isn’t related to electricity??

  • Shini Taigen

    Question: Why wasn’t there a ladder in place in the even this happens in the first place? I understand, it is a long climb, so it would only be in the even of an emergency; and you can build it in levels so there are stopping points if they get tired. Sure, it is extra money, and you will have to inspect every so often, but it will totally be worth it when people get stuck.

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