Nearly all 1,400 hourly production workers at the Patrick Cudahy pork plant near Milwaukee have returned to work two months after a fire severely damaged the facility, according to Meatingplace.com and the Business Journal of Milwaukee. The plant is owned by Smithfield Foods.
Considering the fire damaged a quarter of the plant's square footage, the rapid return is remarkable. The company has not released a final damage figure although company officials earlier estimated damages to approach $50 million.
The fire began July 5 when a military-grade flare was shot from a neighboring residence onto the Cudahy plant's roof. Brothers Kurtis and Joshua Popp have pleaded guilty to charges related to their parts in starting the fire.