No injuries in Vernon Hills warehouse fire; cause remains under investigation

Several departments responded to a smoky fire early today at a warehouse/distribution center in the Corporate Woods campus in Vernon Hills.

No injuries were reported and the cause of the blaze and extent of damage at Automotive Keys Group, 633 Hickory Hill Drive, is being investigated.

The Lincolnshire Riverwoods Fire Protection District was dispatched to the business at 4:24 a.m. through an automatic fire alarm.

First-arriving emergency crews encountered heavy smoke throughout the large warehouse, according to Battalion Chief Steve McCaughey.

The call was upgraded to a working fire scenario, which brought firefighters from the Deerfield, Countryside, Lake Zurich and Long Grove fire protection districts and Buffalo Grove, Lake Forest, Wheeling and Libertyville municipal fire departments.

An automatic sprinkler system was activated before firefighters arrived, keeping the blaze from growing before it could be completely extinguished, McCaughey said. Nobody was at the facility when the alarm was sounded, he added.

McCaughey said extensive smoke hampered crews and a special mobile ventilation unit was used to clear the warehouse and office spaces.

According to its website, AKG is a leading remanufacturer and distributor of replacement automotive keyless entry remotes, other key replacements and related equipment.

In April 2021, the company consolidated locations with Locksmith Resources and Midwest Keyless in a new facility in Vernon Hills featuring centralized distribution and a training facility.

Investigators from Lincolnshire-Riverwoods were assisted by Vernon Hills police at the scene.

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