We’re not supposed to forget our heroes. But 25 years ago, the heroes themselves, the ones that helped save the city of Weyauwega, they couldn’t wait to forget.
A train derailment, 469,000 gallons of burning propane, and 14 days wondering if this day would be their last; they didn’t want to be heroes anymore. They stared death in the face, and it wasn’t pleasant.
“They had a large number on their staff quit and they went on to other occupations,’’ said Jim Baehnman, Weyauwega’s assistant fire chief, said of the site crews from Green Bay, Texas, and Missouri who were brought in to mitigate the situation. “They were very, very, very concerned that they had just dodged the biggest bullet of their life.”
By all accounts, every one of them was lucky to be alive. By all belief, the hand of God touched them all. “Why it didn’t explode that morning, there is really no explanation whatsoever,’’ says Jim.