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Steam Leak Causes Alarm at Lake Forest's Hospira

A suspected gas leak resulted in a middle-of-the-night evacuation as firefighters from Lake Forest and other nearby departments responded.

A steam leak triggered an alarm that sent 25 firefighters from five area departments to Lake Forest’s Hospira headquarters, 375 Field Drive, early Wednesday morning.

When a fire alarm sounded shortly after 2 a.m., officials first thought there was a liquid nitrogen leak in Hospira’s third-floor laboratory, Lake Forest Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Issel said in a press release. Hospira manufactures and supplies injectable drugs and other equipment to hospitals.

Firefighters evacuated the building until Hospira staff could determine whether the leaking substance was gas or steam. It was later determined that a high pressure steam pipe was leaking.

The situation was under control at 4 a.m., Issel said. Lake Forest was assisted by firefighters from the Countryside, Knollwood, Lake Bluff and Lincolnshire departments.

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Hummingbird_Lover December 05, 2013 at 07:35 AM
Sounds like an incredible amount of money wasted by not knowing in advance a steam leak like this could occur. Lake Forest Fire Department should have been more aware that something like this could happen. It's only taxpayer money so no worries right?
Me December 05, 2013 at 12:48 PM
@Hummingbird - They were just responding to an alarm. What would you suggest they do? Perhaps it would be better for them to ignore alarms from locations where it could be something else and wait to see the flames erupting from windows before taking it seriously. If there was a false alarm at your home would you really be singing the same tune?
Hummingbird_Lover December 06, 2013 at 07:59 AM
I suggest they are made aware of the potential before it happens. Fire Departments tend to control what goes in and out of buildings. Evacuate everybody and take everything to the extreme. Could've been avoided by having the correct devices in place that would indicate it was only a steam leak.

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