RoomPlace warehouse catches fire in Woodridge

Rob Elgas Image
Friday, April 22, 2016
RoomPlace warehouse destroyed by fire
A massive fire destroyed a large RoomPlace furniture warehouse in southwest suburban Woodridge.

WOODRIDGE, Ill. (WLS) -- A massive fire destroyed a large RoomPlace furniture warehouse in southwest suburban Woodridge. Thick, black smoke could be seen from as far as Plainfield, nearly 20 miles from the scene.

PHOTOS: Firefighters battle Woodridge warehouse blaze

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The RoomPlace warehouse in southwest suburban Woodridge is seen on April 29, 2016, after it was destroyed by a fire one week earlier.

Thirty-five fire departments responded to the fire in the 2500-block of Internationale Parkway that began around 6 p.m. Thursday. Some nearby buildings were evacuated and power is out in the area.

"Everybody started running out the back door, talking about, 'Get out!'" said Ken LeFlore, who was inside when he saw fellow employees head for the exits. "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.

Firefighters said more than 700,000 square feet went up in flames. Some flammable material also ignited.

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

"All of the sudden we just heard the fire alarm go off, so we went outside," said Cesar Posada, who was also inside when the fire started.

He said at first, there was thick black smoke, but that quickly changed.

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

Although no one was injured, Leflore now has no job. He's one of hundreds who worked in this huge building.

"My first thought is where I'm gonna get a job at. That's my first thought," Leflore said.

Officials have not given any details about a possible cause for the fire.

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