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Fire destroys machine shop in Minooka

Equipment, tools, vehicles included in loss

Published: Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 10:04 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Jan. 4, 2013 3:47 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Photo provided)
A large machine shop on Bell Road in Minooka is engulfed in flames Wednesday.
Caption
(Photo provided)
A firefighter looks away from the flames during a blaze at a machine shop located at 725 Bell Road in Minooka.

MINOOKA — A large machine shop on Bell Road in Minooka was destroyed Wednesday night as result of a blaze that is still being investigated, according to Minooka Fire Chief Al Yancey.

Minooka Fire Protection District responded to the structure fire at 725 Bell Road at approximately 8:10 p.m., Jan. 2, 2013, Yancey said in a press release. The first arriving engine company encountered heavy smoke and fire showing from a large machine shop.

The first arriving crews were informed by the property owner that the building contained a large propane tank. Crews began operations to cool the propane tank as a priority to prevent an explosion. Crews applied water and extinguished the fire around the tank first and then began extinguishing the remaining fire.

A defensive operation was applied where no firefighters entered the building due to collapse risk, Yancey said. A short time after extinguishing operations were underway the roof of the building collapsed, hampering extinguishing operations. The property owner provided a backhoe tractor to help pull some of the metal siding away from the building and allow firefighters to apply water to the fire under the collapsed metal.

Due to this being a rural call, with no nearby fire hydrants, a water shuttle using tankers from several surrounding fire departments was utilized. Ten tankers from surrounding agencies were used to shuttle water to the scene from a fill site on the north side of the village of Minooka. Tankers delivered water to the fire scene and dumped water into two portable dump tanks which were used to supply water for extinguishing activities.

The cause ofthe fire is under investigation by the MABAS 15 Fire Investigators Team and is currently undetermined.

The building, which contained equipment, tools and vehicles, is considered a complete loss. Dollar loss to building and contents is not immediately known until the property owner has an opportunity to take a full inventory.

Minooka Fire Department was also assisted by the Minooka Police Department and the Kendall County Sheriff's Department for traffic control, as well as the Kendall County Highway Department, providing salt on the road where water was being filled and dumped. Rockdale, Bristol Kendall, Morris and Elwood Fire Districts filled the Minooka fire station and handled two additional emergency calls while crews worked to extinguish the fire on Bell Road.

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