Crews respond to lab fire

By Anthony Antoine |, Betty Simpson |

Published 01/07 2014 10:41AM

Updated 01/07 2014 05:25PM

Update: 3:39 pm
RANTOUL -- A fast response time by crews stopped a factory from burning. It happened about 10:30 am, Tuesday, in the 200-block of Shellhouse Drive. No one was hurt, but all of the employees of Combe Laboratories were sent home for the day.

It's a major manufacturer of hygiene products. A lot are alcohol-based, so authorities say the situation could have been much worse.

The fire started outside in a heating-and-cooling unit. Maintenance employees tried to put it out with an extinguisher, but it didn't work. The fire traveled through air ducts and inside the building.

The sprinkler and alarm system activated and contained the fire until firefighters arrived. Crews from Gifford and Thomasboro assisted on the call.

Inside the air ducts is a fire door. It's supposed to trap the fire and stop it from spreading, but the link melted and the door never closed, allowing it to spread.
Original: 10:41 am
RANTOUL -- Crews are responding to a fire at Combe Laboratories, Inc., in the 200-block of Shellhouse Drive. No word on a cause or injuries at this time.

We have a crew en route and will update this story as more information becomes available.

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