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South Side House Catches Fire After Explosion At Nearby Finkl Steel Plant; 'They Saw Fireballs'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A home in the Burnside neighborhood caught fire Wednesday morning, after an explosion in a slag pit at the nearby Finkl Steel plant sent flaming debris flying into the air.

Fire Department officials said crews responded to reports of an explosion Wednesday morning at the Finkl Steel plant at 93rd and Kenwood.

"It appears that they had a slag pit, they dumped some slag, there was an explosion," Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.

As firefighters were putting out the fire in the slag pit, and extinguishing spot fires on a nearby roof, they noticed a nearby home on the 9100 block of South Woodlawn Avenue had caught fire.

"Residents in the area said they saw fireballs going through the air just after the explosion at Finkl," Langford said.

Everyone got out of the home before firefighters arrived, and no one was injured in the fire, but a firefighter who responded did suffer a minor cut to his hand, and was taken to Advocate Trinity Hospital for treatment.

Langford said fire investigators have not officially determined the house fire was the result of the explosion at Finkl Steel.

"It's just west of the plant, and they did see embers going through the air, so they're talking to the household members here to see what they can shed on the situation as far as information on how this fire started," Langford said.


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