Mack's Twin City Recycling fire - Urbana

Photo: The News-Gazette 

URBANA, Ill. (WAND) - A Thanksgiving fire that destroyed a building that was part of Mack's Twin City Recycling may have originated from a lithium battery.

While the official cause of the fire is listed as undetermined by the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office, business co-operator Corey Mathis said, "The fire investigators came out, and they determined that all signs point to a lithium-ion battery that exploded on one of our shelves."

Lithium-ion batteries - which are commonly used in electronic devices - can catch fire if they are damaged or overheat, and their potential hazards have caused a policy change at Mack's.

"For the moment, we've stopped taking all batteries except for lead acid batteries," Mathis said.

While Mack's is still open for business, the fixing of the damaged building is likely a ways off.

"All that will be several years down the line, probably," Mathis said.

There is no cost estimate yet on the fire damage.