Crews spend day putting out hot spots after Des Plaines factory fire

 
 
Updated 1/11/2018 4:20 PM
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  • The rear 10,000-square-foot portion of a scrap metal recycling facility was destroyed by an overnight fire Thursday in Des Plaines.

      The rear 10,000-square-foot portion of a scrap metal recycling facility was destroyed by an overnight fire Thursday in Des Plaines. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Firefighters spent much of the day Thursday on the scene of a massive fire that broke out late Wednesday night at Maine Scrap Metal on Rand Road in Des Plaines.

      Firefighters spent much of the day Thursday on the scene of a massive fire that broke out late Wednesday night at Maine Scrap Metal on Rand Road in Des Plaines. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • A backhoe rips apart the collapsed roof of a scrap metal recycling facility Thursday in Des Plaines, where a massive fire occurred overnight.

      A backhoe rips apart the collapsed roof of a scrap metal recycling facility Thursday in Des Plaines, where a massive fire occurred overnight. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • Two hose lines -- from the ground and air -- continued to dose hot spots Thursday after a massive overnight fire at a recycling facility in Des Plaines.

      Two hose lines -- from the ground and air -- continued to dose hot spots Thursday after a massive overnight fire at a recycling facility in Des Plaines. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • A fire continued to smolder Thursday morning at Maine Scrap Metal on Rand Road in Des Plaines. The fire broke out shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday night and destroyed much of the facility.

      A fire continued to smolder Thursday morning at Maine Scrap Metal on Rand Road in Des Plaines. The fire broke out shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday night and destroyed much of the facility. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • A fire broke out late Wednesday at a scrap metal recycling facility on Rand Road in Des Plaines.

    A fire broke out late Wednesday at a scrap metal recycling facility on Rand Road in Des Plaines. Courtesy of Des Plaines Fire Department

  • Firefighters remained on scene of Maine Scrap Metal at 1274 Rand Road in Des Plaines on Thursday after a massive overnight fire in the rear warehouse.

      Firefighters remained on scene of Maine Scrap Metal at 1274 Rand Road in Des Plaines on Thursday after a massive overnight fire in the rear warehouse. Christopher Placek | Staff Photographer

  • Firefighters spray water on the smoldering remnants of Maine Scrap Metal's factory Thursday in Des Plaines.

      Firefighters spray water on the smoldering remnants of Maine Scrap Metal's factory Thursday in Des Plaines. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

Firefighters spent most of the day Thursday putting out hot spots at a smoldering Des Plaines scrap metal recycling facility largely destroyed by a massive overnight fire.

Crews were called at 11:07 p.m. Wednesday to Maine Scrap Metal at 1274 Rand Road after the owner smelled smoke and phoned 911.

Flames blew through the roof and spread rapidly after the fire began in the back corner of the 18,000-square-foot facility, Des Plaines Fire Chief Alan Wax said.

Shortly after arriving, the Des Plaines Fire Department called for a box alarm -- bringing in assistance from a number of area fire departments. At one point, four ladder trucks were extending hose lines from above to douse the flames.

By 2:15 a.m., the fire was under control, Wax said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and under investigation. No injuries were reported.

While the rear 10,000-square-foot warehouse is a total loss, firefighters were able to save an attached 2-story front office building.

"Our guys did a phenomenal job of keeping it to this end," Wax said on scene Thursday morning.

Some limousines from neighboring M & M Limousine Services were damaged by heat, water and possibly smoke, but all were drivable, he said.

A ladder truck remained at the scene late Thursday morning, joined by another hose line on the ground, as a backhoe worked to rip apart the collapsed roof in search of hot spots. Using the machine to break up wreckage isn't uncommon "with a fire this expansive," Wax said.

The scrap metal processing and recycling center has served the commercial, industrial and residential community for more than 50 years, according to its website.

Northwest-bound Rand Road was closed between River and Golf roads while firefighters remained on scene for much of the day.

While crews were busy battling the massive blaze, another fire broke out on the south side of Des Plaines at 3:20 a.m. Other suburban departments that were staffing Des Plaines' fire stations responded to the townhouse building on the 2100 block of Chestnut Street, along with off-duty Des Plaines firefighters who were called in.

One person escaped with minor injuries and refused treatment at the scene, Wax said.

The fire started in a first-floor kitchen and left the residential unit uninhabitable because of smoke and heat damage, but neighboring units were left undamaged, he added.

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