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3 Firefighters Hurt Extinguishing Foundry Fire In Batavia

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BATAVIA, Ill. (CBS) – Three firefighters went to the hospital overnight after they slipped and fell on ice while battling an extra-alarm blaze at a foundry in west suburban Batavia.

The fire started around 9:30 p.m. at the Master Cast foundry at 106 S. Mallory Av. in Batavia.

Flames quickly engulfed the building, and crews from about 15 neighboring suburbs helped fight the fire, which caused part of the factory building to collapse.

“We had a partial collapse in the roof area in about the center of the building earlier in the night,” Batavia Deputy Fire Chief Randy Baker said Thursday morning.

Three firefighters were hurt and were taken to the hospital when they slipped and fell on ice that formed at the scene due to temperatures that dropped as low as 10 degrees overnight.

“The biggest problem tonight has been the ice. We’ve had three people hurt and sent to the hospital from slips and falls, so that’s the biggest problem. The cold just slows you down. It’s tough on the equipment and the people,” Baker said.

The company supplies permanent mold aluminum castings.

According to the Master Cast website, the company took over the building in 1969. Baker said the factory has been around for at least a century.

While the walls were still standing, the building was a total loss.

Crews were still on the scene at 6 a.m. Thursday. Although the fire had been extinguished, firefighters were keeping an eye on the building to douse hot spots and prevent the fire from flaring up again.

Baker said he doesn’t expect any more of the building to collapse, but crews are keeping people away from the building to make sure it’s safe.

No other injuries were reported, and the building was empty at the time of the fire. The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

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