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Extra Alarm Fire in a Warehouse at University Drive and Kennicott, Arlington Heights

Tue March 13 2018 11:56 am
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Arlington Heights police and firefighters responded at 10:58 AM Tuesday, March 13, 2018 to an activated fire alarm, which was immediately followed by a report of a fire on the roof of a large warehouse at 900 West University Drive in Arlington Heights.

Firefighters discovered a fire in a machine with the fire extended up into a vent and up into the roof. Firefighters were able to knock down the fire in the machine within a few minutes, but some fire up in the vent was more difficult to reach and the large warehouse was filling with smoke. The initial machine fire was possibly extinguished with a pump can and the action of the sprinkler system. The rest of the fire required a prolonged operation to completely extinguish.

Employees were already evacuating upon arrival of the first firefighters on the scene. About 60 employees were evacuated. Arlington Heights Fire Department Command immediately called for a working fire response on arrival. Then a MABAS Box Alarm activation brought extra firefighters and equipment from several area communities, including Buffalo Grove, Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Palatine Rural, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, and Wheeling were on the scene.

The fire initially appeared to be extinguished in the roof vent and firefighters were getting ready to ventilate the building, but additional fire was found up near the roof at two separate times.

Firefighters needed to break some windows to ventilate smoke out of the building, and also possibly might have cut a hole in the roof to access a fire that was still in the roof.

Firefighters were also working to extinguish hotspots in debris that was brought down by the firefighting operations.

The MABAS Division 1 Mobile Ventilation Unit was called to the northwest corner of the building, and at about 12:45 p.m. had not yet forcing air into the building. They were waiting for a report that the fire is out before they pressurize the building to expedite ventilation of the building. Soon the fire was out, and the mutual aid truck was blowing air into the building. Coincidentally, a great amount of snow and graupel started falling about the time the fan started to blow.

NICOR and ComEd were on the scene to manage utilities. There was a strong natural gas odor on the west side of the building and apparently there’s been a ticket open for several days to have that problem secured. It had not yet been resolved. The natural gas leak was apparently a separate incident from today’s fire. NICOR was checking gas meter levels near manhole covers near the fire scene, but apparently the natural gas leak did not complicate operations of the firefighters.

Teleflex Inc. and Hudson Respiratory Care Inc are located in the warehouse. The fire is believed to have started in a machine that does some type of sealing or packaging, possibly in the center of the building. However, this information was not confirmed by officials.

Fire officials did report that the fire caused serious damage to multiple floors from the first floor to the roof.

Arlington Heights warehouse fire

 Arlington Heights warehouse fire

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Arlington Heights warehouse fire

Arlington Heights warehouse fire

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