Superior Residents React after Explosion, Fires at Husky Energy
An Explosion and Two Fires Rocked Husky Energy Superior Refinery Thursday, Causing Residents to be Evacuated
SUPERIOR, Wisc. – Reports of smoke being seen from Highway 61 along the North Shore to Cloquet came in throughout Thursday as residents in Superior evacuated their workplace and homes.
“None of us expected this to happen,” said UWS student Jonathan Patras.
A day unlike any other in the City of Superior. Students at UWS received important news alerts as crews worked to battle a major fire at Husky Energy Superior Refinery.
“I was supposed to go back to my dorm, but I got an email saying that we have to evacuate,” said Patras.
“We were actually having a conference call and all of a sudden it just went large woosh, just kind of a big boom in a way,” said Superior resident Ruth Mccotter.
Superior resident David Eastman says it was a scene he’s never witnesses in his 40 years of living in the Twin Ports.
“You just kind of stop right there and you’re thinking, oh boy what’s going on,” said Eastman. “We do know quite a few people actually that work there.”
Thankfully, David’s friends checked in safe.
“You’re also trusting that they go through a lot of scenarios like this,” said Eastman.
Shortly after noon the Mariner Mall in Superior shut its doors.
“We heard and felt the explosion,” said Courtney Pfeifer as she evacuated from the Mariner Mall.
Hundreds of people were forced to leave. Traffic turned chaotic as the evacuation radius grew.
“They’re closing down schools and daycares so everyone in the mall at least is evacuating,” said Pfeifer.
“It got a little crazy there for a little bit,” said Laurie Magdzas, library assistant at Superior Schools.
Magdzas spent her afternoon helping students connect with worried parents.
“Some kids were a little panicked, I can’t find my mom, you know,” said Magdzas.
She says evacuation drills in the past may have contributed to the students and staff quickly getting to safer spaces.