SAUGET, Ill. – After keeping fire crews busy for nearly 14 hours, an industrial park fire in Sauget that filled the air with smoke is finally out. 

Fire crews cleared the scene just before 6:00 a.m. at the Eagle Industrial Park on Mississippi Avenue in Sauget. The Sauget Fire Chief, Roger Thornton, said some crews may return throughout the day to check on a few small hot spots. This all comes after the intense fire burned for quite a long time, with smoke billowing from the scene for hours. 

Thornton also said that the fire happened at a storage facility inside the Eagle Industrial Park. It’s a 39-acre industrial park that occupies the former property of the Big River Zinc Corporation. The area has now been converted to a full-service trans-loading operation. 

Chief Thornton told us his crews got the first call for the fire about 4:00 p.m. Monday afternoon. It quickly went to a second alarm, with crews from Cahokia Heights responding as well. Thornton shared that there were tires in the building, along with corrugated fiberglass and hemp mulch, a thick kind of landscaping mulch. 

We asked Thornton if anything in the smoke that poured from the building was dangerous. 

“It was just a thick smoke causing a choking hazard,” Thornton explained. “But as far as hazardous materials, there weren’t any on site. You’ll have some coughing and sneezing, but it will clear up after a while.”

Thornton hopes the fire doesn’t become an issue like the metal recycling facility fire back in August in Madison. That fire smoldered for more than a week before crews were able to completely put it out. Thornton said there were no injuries in this latest fire. 

He believes it started from spontaneous combustion from the mulch being stored in the building.