Fire causes estimated $10,000 damage to UI laboratory in Rantoul
RANTOUL — Rantoul Fire Chief Ken Waters says a fire early Friday evening caused an estimated $10,000 damage to the University of Illinois Advanced Transportation and Research Engineering Laboratory.
No injuries were reported.
Waters said the damage was largely limited to a single room at the facility, located at 1611 Titan Drive on the former Chanute Air Force Base. He said the rest of the lab could return to regular operations later this weekend.
According to a fire department report, people were mixing solvents and other chemicals in an aluminum container and heating it with an electric burner when the mixture ignited at about 6:15 p.m..
When Rantoul firefighters arrived at the scene, Waters said the facility's sprinkler system was already putting out the fire, but there was a lot of black smoke.
Waters said approximately four people at the laboratory were evacuated from the facility.
Firefighters shut off some valves, opened up a drain, put salvage covers on some equipment and had the fire under control by 6:25 p.m.
Firefighters left the scene by 7:07 p.m.