News Local/State

Alloy Foundry In Champaign Damaged By Fire

Casting process at Alloy Engineering & Casting, Champaign.

A stage in the casting process at WIRCO's Alloy Engineering & Casting facility in Champaign, which was damaged by a fire Friday night. WIRCO

Champaign fire officials said fire crews would remain at the Alloy Engineering and Casting foundry on the city’s west side on Saturday, to put out any spot fires, following the three-alarm blaze that burned there for more than five hours overnight.  Officials at the site hope to begin assessing the damage soon.

The Champaign Fire Department found the fire in progress when they came to the scene at 8:48 PM Friday evening. Fire crews from Urbana and Savoy were also called in, and the fire was finally struck out around 2:16 AM Saturday morning. Officials do not yet know the origin, cause or total damage estimate from the blaze.

No one was injured in the Alloy Engineering fire and none of the foundry’s neighbors had to be evacuated from their homes.

Alloy Engineering and Casting is owned by Indiana-based WIRCO.

UPDATE:  Officials at the foundry say they're eager to get into the Champaign plant to start assessing the scope of the damage.  Plant manager Ron Baldus tells The News-Gazette none of the foundry's 92 employees was working when the fire swept the building's west end.

The foundry makes castings designed to withstand heat for a variety of industries. Indiana-based Wirco has owned the foundry since 2005.

Co-owner Timothy "T.J." Wright said Saturday that as soon as fire officials allow company officials into the foundry they'll begin assessing "what it's going to take to get back on our feet."

The state fire marshal's office is assisting in the fire investigation.