Investigators are still sorting through clues to determine the cause of a massive industrial building fire at the Master Cast factory in Batavia, IL, last Wednesday.
During the blaze firefighters watched for the possibility the Master Cast building could collapse, but eight hours after the fire began, it was still standing.
No one suffered an injury or was inside the factory when it caught fire, said Batavia Fire Chief Randy Deicke.
The fire appears to have started on the side of the building that faces 1st Street. Everyone had gone home for the night. The company manufactures aluminum castings, which contributed to the challenges firefighters faced.
“The building uses a lot of natural gas in their production, so we had natural gas burning in the building at the time we got here. We had Nicor (the gas company) come to the scene and they shut the gas off,” said Deputy Fire Chief Randall Banker.
The fire at the metal factory on the corner of 1st Street and Mallory Avenue brought out 16 fire departments.
Aerial ladders were set up on all four corners of the building to fight the fire, which fully engulfed the two-story factory, Batavia Fire Chief Randy Deicke said.
“We expect the building to collapse, or at least one floor to collapse, at some time,” Deicke said just after midnight.
The cold also posed a challenge for firefighters. Three of them went to the hospital with injuries from falling on the ice. None was seriously hurt.
Master Cast’s owners were at the scene checking out the progress that firefighters were making and planned to be back Thursday morning to survey the damage.
Firefighters describe what’s left of the inside framework as twisted from the flames that raged overnight.
Fire and police investigators spent Thursday morning searching through the rubble of the Master Cast factory and interviewing its owners.