MADISON, Ill. – A warehouse was on fire in Madison, Illinois Wednesday near the World Wide Technology Raceway. One warehouse employee was injured in the fire and at least two buildings were destroyed.
The Madison Illinois Police Department issued a red alert at 11 a.m. asking all residents within a one-mile radius of the building to shelter in place. That alert was lifted Thursday morning for those to the north of the warehouse in the Granite City area. However, the alert is still in effect until 9 a.m. Thursday for those to the south and southwest of the warehouse in the Venice and Madison area. Officials will review air quality once again at that time.
The office of emergency management is asking people in that zone to turn off their air conditioning and close windows. You can sign up for alerts about the situation from authorities here.
The fire started at about 10:30 a.m. at Interco – – A Metaltronics Recycler. It was put out by approximately 3:15 p.m. Retired Madison County Fire Chief Mike Foley said workers were inside the building when an explosion occurred.
One employee is hospitalized with burns and is in unknown condition. No first responders or firefighters were hurt while assisting with the fire.
Everyone made it safely out of the building. It is still unclear at this time how the fire started. The roof of the building collapsed around noon. Cars parked outside the warehouse also caught fire. Around 200 first responders and agencies from eight Illinois and Missouri counties assisted with this emergency.
Madison, Illinois mayor John Hamm says an emergency declaration has been made at the county and state level over the fire. Crews have been at the scene for at least six hours and expect to stay through Wednesday evening.
Interco is located at 10 Fox Industrial Drive. Interco’s website says they are “a global recycling company,” and they provide “metals, computers, and electronics recycling services.” They say they specialize “in the placement of smelter-ready materials catering to commercial, industrial, dealer, and government organizations nationwide.” They also say they ship “nonferrous and electronics scrap worldwide.”
Officials told FOX 2, the warehouse stores lithium batteries and hazardous materials. Magnesium is burning at the site which is possibly from the batteries. There are also propane tanks for forklifts inside. The building is made of old wood and brick.
Interco previously had a fire on March 11.
FOX 2 Extreme Weather Specialist Chris Higgins said the smoke plume was at least 3,500 feet high at 11:15 a.m.
The fire was so large it was seen on FOX 2 meteorologist Angela Hutti’s radar.
Our Bommarito Automotive Group SkyFOX helicopter flew over the scene. Officials held two news conferences about the incident at 12:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
FOX 2 will continue to update this story with more information as it becomes available.