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One Killed in Explosion in Arens Control Warehouse Building on North Kennicott, Arlington Heights

Tue May 22 2012 10:14 am
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VIDEO: Extra-alarm ambulance response at Arens Control plant after an explosion killed one employee, injured seven employees, and also injured three police officers.

UPDATE: See The Cardinal Neil Nicholson Killed in Explosion at Work at Arens Controls, Arlington Heights …

Arlington Heights police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 8:38 a.m. Tuesday to a report of an explosion in a warehouse/factory at 3602 N. Kennicott Ave. in Arlington Heights. Police officers from Arlington Heights and Buffalo Grove arrived first to help evacuate the building. Firefighters arrived to find the building being evacuated and some light smoke and twisted metal inside of the building.

One person — an employee of the company — is reported killed in some type of industrial accident and explosion — possibly involving potassium hydroxide.

At least 10 people were being examined by firefighter/paramedics, but they all seemed to be walking in good shape.

Seven employees were injured from concussion type injuries related to the blast wave of the explosion. Those injuries were reported to involve hearing-related injuries and chest pain.

Two Arlington Heights police officers and one Buffalo Grove police officer were also examined after experiencing minor symptoms and coughing from some type of exposure in the air inside the building. The police officers were first on the scene without respiratory protection. The police officers were released from the hospital by 11:20 a.m.

Investigators are on the scene, and firefighters ventilated the building.

No visible damage can be seen outside the building. Fire Chief Glenn Ericksen and police Capt. Ken Galinski reported that there is twisted metal inside related to the explosion. The roof was also slightly buckled in the explosion. Some gravel rock was blown off the roof of the building and damaged about 20 cars parked near the building.

Firefighters from Buffalo Grove inspected the roof by way of their ladder tower truck.

Arlington Heights Fire Department activated an extra alarm for mutual aid ambulances from Buffalo Grove, Palatine, Prospect Heights, Wheeling and others fire departments.

According to their official website, Arens is a world leader in engineering and manufacturing of precision operator interface control systems as well as power management systems for commercial vehicles — including the hybrid vehicle market. Arens reports their engineers are focused on developing innovative solutions and next generation technology control and power management systems for commercial vehicle manufacturers.

Photo: Most fire department activity is on the northeast corner of the Arens building, 3602 North Kennicott Avenue, Arlington Heights.

Entrance to Arens control, 3602 N. Kennicott Ave. at the southeast corner of the building.

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