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Former Marine sentenced for providing flare that started Patrick Cudahy fire

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Ellsworth, 54011
Pierce County Herald
715-273-4335 customer support
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

A former Marine will spend his next three Julys in jail for providing the military flare that started a massive fire at the Patrick Cudahy meat plant near Milwaukee.

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Joshua Popp, 23, was also put on three years of probation Thursday, and was told to perform 500 hours of community service.

Popp and his brother Curtis, 25, both pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless endangerment.

Curtis Popp shot the military flare at a family gathering on July 5, and it landed on top of the Cudahy meat plant.

The blaze caused more than $50 million in damage, caused hundreds of residents to evacuate, and put more than 1,800 people out of work for at least a week. Prosecutor Kent Lovern agreed there was no malice involved.

He called it an "incredibly stupid act."

Joshua Popp's lawyer agreed, but said it would not help the community if his client spent time in jail.

Curtis Popp will be sentenced Oct. 26.

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