Weather Forecast


Former Marine sentenced for providing flare that started Patrick Cudahy fire

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
New Richmond, 54017
New Richmond News
715-246-7117 customer support
New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

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.


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.