Woodridge warehouse destroyed by fire

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A massive fire at The RoomPlace warehouse in southwest suburban Woodridge was still burning Friday morning, more than 12 hours after it started. (WLS)

A massive fire at The RoomPlace's main distribution center in southwest suburban Woodridge was still burning Friday morning, more than 12 hours after it started.

PHOTOS: Firefighters battle Woodridge warehouse blaze

Fire crews worked all night to put out flames and keep an eye on hot spots. Investigators are working to determine what sparked the fire. Lemont Fire Chief George Rimbo said some flammable material ignited inside.

"We had some, what I would call 'smaller explosions.' I'm going to say that those were probably from some of the forklifts in there perhaps, they're run by propane," Rimbo said.

In a press release, The RoomPlace said they are open for business and will fulfill pending orders as they recover from the fire. Customers can call 630.827.7838 with questions and updates on their orders or they can contact The RoomPlace by email at CustomerCare@theroomplace.com.

The blaze broke out around 5 p.m. Thursday. Firefighters said more than 700,000 square feet went up in flames. At the height of the fire, thick, black smoke could be seen from as far as Plainfield, which is about 20 miles from the scene.

More than 100 firefighters from 30 departments were called in to help. Crews has the fire under control by around 9:30 p.m. No firefighters were injured.

About 50 employees escaped unharmed. Ken Leflore was inside when he saw fellow employees head for the exits.

"Everybody started running out the back door, talking about, 'Get out!' Being OK is important, I made it out to my family and my son and my girl, so that's what's important," Leflore said.

"I was able to get in my car and get away. My car is parked over there right now because the cops said it was going to be a big one," said Cesar Posada, who worked in the building.

Because of the fire, the Illinois American Water System issued a boil order for its customers. It affect a portion of Woodridge south of I-55.

Officials for The RoomPlace said in a statement Friday the company is working with investigators and is committed to its employees.

"At The RoomPlace, we are 100% committed to our employees and customers. We want to reiterate that none of our employees have lost their jobs as a result of this traumatic event and we will continue to pay our employees as we work to get everyone back to work. We are actively working to restore what was lost and communicating with all customers regarding any delays in deliveries that are a result of this incident," the statement said.
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