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updated: 4/5/2013 11:30 AM

Crews quickly snuff out Des Plaines lab fire

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Daily Herald staff report

A minor laboratory fire Thursday afternoon at Abbott Molecular in Des Plaines was easily extinguished with little damage to the building and no injuries to the occupants, authorities said.

The Des Plaines Fire Department responded to the call at 12:23 p.m. to the building at 1300 E. Touhy Ave. The building was evacuated. Crews encountered smoke in the hallways and employees reported a possible chemical fire in one of the laboratories, later found to be in the east section of the building, officials said.

The fire started when a technician was working with chemicals and the fumes ignited. The technician left the room and the fire grew, igniting nearby combustibles and activating the automatic fire sprinkler system, which contained the spread but did not extinguish the chemicals, officials said.

Fire crews used fire extinguishers to put out the fire within a half-hour. Officials are investigating the ignition source.

After fire crews assisted with clean up of water from the sprinkler system, the building was turned over to Abbott management around 2 p.m. A preliminary estimate shows $35,000 in damages, officials said.

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