File Photo – Arnold Magnetic Technologies | Photo: Google Street View

An employee suffered life-threatening injuries after a liquid metal explosion and fire inside a large manufacturing plant in Marengo Tuesday afternoon, fire officials said.

The Marengo Fire and Rescue Districts responded around 2:28 p.m. Tuesday to Arnold Magnetic Technologies, 300 West Street in Marengo, for a report of a commercial structure fire.

Marengo Fire and Rescue Districts Communication Specialist Alex Vucha said firefighters arrived on the scene within four minutes of the call.

Firefighters found light smoke showing from the building.

The employees of the business had been evacuated prior to the fire department’s arrival, Vucha said.

Firefighters quickly entered the building, located a small fire and extinguished it within 10 minutes.

Vucha said a male employee suffered serious burns after a liquid metal explosion occurred inside a machine.

A medical helicopter was initially requested to the scene but canceled due to the nearest helicopter being far away.

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The victim was transported by ambulance to OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford with serious, life-threatening injuries.

The fire was contained to the immediate area of the machine and there was no structural damage, Vucha said.

Arnold Magnetic Technologies is a global manufacturer of high-performance permanent magnets, flexible composites, electromagnets, magnetic assemblies and precision thin metal foils, according to the company’s website.

The company says their magnets, metals, and systems produced are used in high-efficiency electric motors and generators, sensors, batteries and more.

The fire department cleared the scene and the building was turned back over to the owner shortly before 5 p.m. A damage estimate was not immediately available.