Batt, Portable, Laptop, Phone

Official: Laptop battery started massive Jan. 2019 fire at Rockford Township Highway Department

by Breane Lyga

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Nearly a year after a massive fire destroyed the Rockford Township Highway Department building on a historic cold day, officials say the cause of the fire was a faulty laptop battery.

The building, located at 404 N. Springfield Ave. caught fire Jan. 30, 2019, prompting a response from at least 25 fire trucks as firefighters worked in -37 degree wind chills to fight the fire.

Rockford Township Highway Commissioner Dan Conness says the department’s insurance company, Toirma, is suing the laptop-maker and battery-maker of the faulty laptop battery that started the fire.

Conness says the department received more than $1.7 million to rebuild the structure, and he expects another $250,000 to $300,000 to come from the insurance company.

The building redevelopment will come at no cost to taxpayers, Conness said, and the township is not involved in the litigation between the insurance company and the defendant.

As of Thursday, the framing of the building is up and Conness says an expected date of completion is March 1.

Source: NBC 13 WREX