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Grundy command vehicle gets first use at Sponge Cushion fire

Published: Monday, June 16, 2014 8:55 p.m. CDT

MORRIS – The cause of this weekend’s fire at Sponge Cushion Inc. in Morris is still undetermined, according to investigators.

No one was injured in the fire that broke out about 1:25 p.m. Saturday at the Sponge Cushion facility located on Armstrong Street. Bob Wills, deputy chief of Morris Fire Protection & Ambulance District, estimated damages to the facility at $4,000.

Stored chemicals used in processing were somehow ignited before the flames spread to a pallet of similar chemicals, causing heavy smoke, Wills said.

About 30 employees working Saturday were evacuated from the building by the time emergency crews had arrived. No one was injured and Wills said the employees were allowed back in the facility the same day.

Firefighters extinguished the fire by about 5 p.m.

The new Grundy County Emergency Management Agency Command Center was used for the first time on the scene which “worked out tremendously,” Wills said. The large vehicle is a mobile communication and command center for use during emergencies.

The EMA was training a group of volunteer leaders on how to use the vehicle when they were called to the scene of the Sponge Cushion fire.

“It really got its baptism that day,” Wills said. “It functioned, really, quite well. It allowed us to issue commands right out of that vehicle.”

Fire departments from Braidwood, Coal City, Channahon, Minooka, Newark, Seneca, Troy and Wilmington responded to the scene..

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