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Extra-Alarm Fire Rages At Old Algonquin Factory

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Algonquin Factory Fire

Fire tore through the old Toastmaster plant in Algonquin early Monday. (Credit: CBS)

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UPDATED: Oct. 18, 2010 8:01 a.m.

ALGONQUIN, Ill. (CBS) - An extra-alarm fire raged early Monday at an abandoned Toastmaster factory in Algonquin.

The 2-alarm fire was raging at the former Toastmaster plant 401 Washington St. in the far northwest suburb. Staging for fire equipment was set up at Washington and Harrison streets.

Upon arriving at the scene at 4:40 a.m., firefighters encountered an industrial structure fully engulfed in flames, the release said. The alarm was upgraded to a second level, requesting additional resources from surrounding fire departments

Firefighters from nearby Cary were dispatched to assist about 4:50 a.m., according to a Cary firefighter.

As of 7:05 a.m. the fire was “mostly under control,” according to Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District Battalion Chief John Greene, who said firefighters limited their initial efforts to maintaining a defensive perimeter.

There were no injuries or fatalities reported as of that time, Greene said.

Fire investigators were on the scene as of 7:45 a.m. and the cause of the fire remained under investigation, according to Greene.

Nearby St. John’s Lutheran School, at 300 Jefferson St. in Algonquin, is closed because of the fire.

The six-acre property contains a vacant three-story industrial building and two electrical substations, according to McHenry County officials. The factory was once used to produce appliances, irons, and shell casings in wartime.

Two years ago, the Illinois Department of Transportation conducted an environmental study of the property, and discovered high levels of volatile organic compounds, heavy metals and other toxic substances in the soil and groundwater.

Earlier this year, a judge approved a move by IDOT to demolish the factory to make way for a new Route 31 bypass, according to published reports.

CBS 2’s Don Schwenneker and the Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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