Fire Extinguisher Factory...Catches Fire

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Yes, you read that correctly.  A Fire Extinguisher factory caught fire on Chicago's West Side last Thursday night.

Roughly 200 firefighters responded to the fire, which started around 9 p.m. Thursday at a two-story industrial building.

It took firefighters nearly three hours to get the fire under control. By then, the building’s roof had collapsed, and the structure had sustained extensive damage. Even after the 3-11 alarm for the fire was struck out, crews continued dousing hot spots throughout Friday morning.

The factory was fully operational, and housed several companies, including one that manufactures fire extinguishers.

With thick smoke billowing from the structure, crews also had to deal with a water supply problem, as the water supply in the area is private, and there are a limited number of hydrants. Firefighters had to use six fire engines, spaced out over a distance, to pump sufficient water to the building.

“We’re running our hose wagon, which carries approximately on mile of 5-inch feeder hose. We used all of it, and that was in order to … do a relay operation. So we went from the fire building, which is about 3800 South, all the way to 40th Street near Pulaski,” Fire Department Deputy Commissioner John McNicholas said.

The Fire Department also initiated a hazardous materials response, due to chemicals stored inside. Ironically, one of those chemicals is used in fire extinguishers. Crews later determined none of the chemicals posed a risk.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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