Superior Residents Look Back at One Year Since the Husky Fire

Students at UWS and Superior remember the Husky fire

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Superior residents and emergency responders remember the explosion and fire that shook Superior Apr. 26, 2019, as Husky energy makes plans to move forward.

Nearly 30 thousand people were evacuated.

Not even three miles down the road from the Husky refinery, University of Wisconsin Superior students Laura Beres and Jocelyn Hassing remeber the moment they were told to evacuate their classes.

“We were sitting in lab and our lab professor is kind of looking out the window and the lab assistant was running outside taking phone calls, he was getting really nervous. All of the sudden he was like I’m not comfortable with you guys being here, just go. Leave, get out of town,” Hassing said.

They listened, but the girls’ biggest worry was where they would stay.

“My mom was calling some people that she knows up here saying hey… I have a group of kids, they don’t know what to do, can they stay with you,” Beres said.

They were relying on Duluth to help Superior.

“Scholastica opened their doors to any students at UWS and said hey… If you guys need a place to come, come to us and we’ll have cots, we’ll have beds,” Beres said.

Superior resident Brian Finstad was on his way to Gordon after the explosion.

“I think our biggest worry was how we were going to get out of town, which direction, because when everybody is trying to leave the roads are pretty jammed up,” Finstad said.

Having lived through the Benzene spill 26 years earlier, Finstad thought the Husky explosion was nothing to be nervous about. He felt like most of the city knew exactly what to do.

“It was just this surreal juxtaposition of the people being calm and the weather being pleasant and in the background seeing huge cloud and explosions going up,” Finstad said.

At this point, Jocelyn, Laura and Brian all feel prepared if something this monumental were to ever happen again.

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