Times' Munster office reopens after fire

2009-02-06T00:00:00Z Times' Munster office reopens after fireTIMES STAFF nwitimes.com
February 06, 2009 12:00 am  • 

MUNSTER | With several fire trucks still on the scene, Times employees returned to the Munster office main building about 5:45 p.m. Friday, nearly four hours after the building was evacuated because of a fire.

A fire broke out near conveyor belts in the press facility, Munster Deputy Fire Chief Bill O'Brien said.

A Munster firefighter suffered minor injuries on the scene, Munster Sgt. Steve Kovacik said.

The incident at one point was deemed a first alarm hazardous materials situation, as crews waited to find out what the newspaper's ink is made of. Firefighters on the scene were covered in ink, and water being used to extinguish the fire was washing the ink down the drains, Kovacik said.

Officials later determined the ink was soy-based, meaning it is water-soluble and not carcinogenic, he said.

Firefighters responded to an alarm about 2 p.m. Friday. They extinguished the flames, and smoked billowed throughout the building at 601 W. 45th Ave. Everyone was evacuated, and no injuries were reported. Firefighters opened skylights in the roof to let smoke out.

By 4:30 p.m., 14 departments were on the scene.

Times employees worked temporarily out of other offices in order to get Saturday's paper ready for the readers. Executive Editor Bill Nangle said The Times intends to have a Saturday edition for its subscribers.

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