A multi-alarm fire destroyed a steel galvanizing plant near Joliet this morning.
Firefighters from the East Joliet Fire Protection District were called to the AZZ Galvanizing plant at 625 Mills Rd. in Joliet Township at 1:32 a.m. this morning, according to Deputy Fire Chief Kirk Kelly, and when they arrived, the building was fully involved, with heavy smoke and heavy fire.
The firefighters immediately went into defensive mode, fighting the blaze from the outside, and it was eventually struck out about 8 a.m., Kelly said. Firefighters will continue to work on hot spots until they are extinguished, he said.
No one was inside the building. Kelly said, and no one was injured.
Kelly did not have an immediate cause of the blaze, saying that the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will be conducting an investigation.
Kelly declined to place a dollar value on the loss, saying only that it would be "a high dollar loss."
The large, L-shaped building, reminiscent of an airplane hangar, is north of Mills Road in the unincorporated area, just east of some railroad tracks and west of Rowell Avenue. Kelly said it occupied an area about 300-by-300 feet and that the business employs 64 people.
AZZ Inc.is a business based in Fort Worth that calls itself the nation's largest galvanizer. It has 34 galvanizing plants in 17 states, including three in Illinois, in Joliet, Dixon, and Peoria.
Multiple fire agencies from that area of Will County, including Homer Township, Joliet, Lockport, Manhattan New Lenox, and Rockdale, were called to the scene, Kelly said, and departments from Mokena and Romeoville were brought in as well to serve as backups. The Will County Emergency Management team also was brought in.
Teams from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were all also called.
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