The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will lead the investigation of Monday’s Chicago Heights Morgan Li warehouse fire.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by state and federal authorities, according to a statement from the city.
The statement said the ATF is joining the investigation because “the scope of the blaze and the depth of the agency’s resources,” and will work with the Illinois State Fire Marshal and Chicago Heights Fire and Police departments.
Firefighters were called at 5:56 a.m. Monday to the warehouse in the 1100 block of Washington Street. The extra alarm blaze engulfed the Morgan Li warehouse, which stored office furniture, according to the statement.
The fire was extinguished by noon and no injuries were reported, according to the statement.
Multiple fire departments responded to the scene as well as the Cook County Department of Environment and Sustainability, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois State Fire Marshal. The ATF, Nicor and ComEd were also on the scene to secure utilities, according to the statement.
News updates from the south suburbs delivered every Monday and Wednesday
“I want to thank the Chicago Heights Fire Department firefighters and the firefighters from our neighboring communities who fought this nearly 6-hour blaze for their professionalism and courage in extinguishing this fire with no reported injuries,” said Mayor David Gonzalez in the statement.
Morgan Li officials have not returned messages asking about the fire and its aftermath. But in a statement, company officials said they are working with authorities and cooperating with the investigation. The company said it has four other manufacturing facilities and “will continue to support our customers throughout the other operational locations.”
“We consider all our employees an extension of our family; we will do everything we can to rebuild what was lost and continue to support our people and the entire Chicago Heights community,” the statement said.
The family-owned business was opened in 1943 in Chicago Heights as Par Steel Products & Adjustable Shelving by Maurice Rosenband, according to the company website. The company became known for show and drugstore shelving, according to the website.
In 1987, Phil Rosenband, Maurice’s son, took over the company and launched Morgan Marshall, and shifted to producing warehouse-like shelving, according to the website, providing products to Walmart, Old Navy and Lowe’s.
In 2009, and Jonathan and Andrew Rosenband took over the company and established Morgan Li, which began selling furniture to luxury and boutique hospitality spaces, according to the website.
“The company continues to focus on doing things differently, more creatively, and memorable. Bumpy roads don’t slow us down; in fact, we welcome the challenge,” according to the website. “We’ve survived wold wars, acquisitions, and recessions. We’ve transformed the way we do business — and helped transform a whole lot of spaces along the way.”