What the Heck Is That Smell? Scrapyard Fire Odor Pervades Wauwatosa
Acrid smell came from junkyard in the Valley, which burned for hours producing haze and obnoxious odors.
People leaving what was kind of a stinky Opening Day game loss Friday by the Brewers to the St. Louis Cardinals were treated to a nasty dessert of acrid smoke, and a foul pall settled on the rest of Wauwatosa in the hours to come.
Assistant Fire Chief Bill Rice of the Wauwatosa Fire Department said the sick smell and haze was from a massive fire at Miller Compressing Co., a scrapyard in the Menomonee Valley at 1640 W. Bruce St., which caught fire about 5:30 p.m. and burned for hours.
Rice said he had heard from residents as far west in Wauwatosa as the County Grounds, and reports also came from Brookfield.
Rice said that sometimes such a fire would be contained but not fought overly aggressively because firefighters would not know what all was in the junk that was burning.
"Sometimes, you actually want to just let it burn itself out," he said, "although in this case, given how bad it smells, I think most people would want it put out."