Rockdale

Massive Fire Erupts at Commercial Building Near Joliet

Northbound and southbound lanes of Larkin Avenue between U.S. 6 and Meadow Avenue were closed while firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze

NBC Universal, Inc.

More than 30 employees at a Will County business managed to escape without injury Friday afternoon when an intense fire broke out at a commercial building.

Before 4 p.m., firefighters responded to 132 S. Harris Dr. in Rockdale regarding a fire at the site of Longhorn Trucking. More than 100 semis were on the property at the time, with many catching fire, though an exact amount hasn't been determined.

Helicopter video from over the scene showed flames pouring from the structure and dark plumes of smoke billowing into the air. When Rockdale first responders arrived on scene, a portion of the building was already engulfed in flames.

"It was very chaotic just because there was about 30 to 35 employees outside. They kept saying more people were inside," said Sgt. Robert Baikie with the Rockdale Police Department.

Northbound and southbound lanes of Larkin Avenue between U.S. 6 and Meadow Avenue were closed while firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze

First responders entered the building and rescued those inside.

"While we were in there, there were many explosions going off," Baikie said. "I’m guessing just tires from the heat and everything exploded, but it kept pushing debris up in the air."

The official cause of the fire hasn't been determined, but authorities said a semi parked near the building caught fire and eventually the flames spread to the building.

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