quote: The article also mentions that John Young's flown Apollo 10 spacesuit is on display in ILC's lobby but there's no mention if it was damaged by the fire or by the recovery efforts.
Losses from a small but smoky laboratory blaze at an advanced technology plant near Frederica could be significant but are not expected to have a lasting affect on operations, its president said today.
The emergency at ILC Dover initially raised concerns about toxic vapor being released at the plant, prompting firefighters to retreat and delaying work to put down the fire. Emergency crews were sent to the scene shortly before 7 p.m. Friday when automatic fire, water and pump failure alarms activated.
ILC manufactures space suits, inflatable systems, protective masks and other complex "soft goods" for NASA, the Defense Department and other users around the globe.
None of the firefighters or workers was injured, officials said.
Chief Deputy Fire Marshal Brian S. Bullock said a heating unit in a custom-made immersion tank started the fire. It spread to insulation and foams that released large amounts of smoke.
Two space suits, each estimated to cost more than $1 million, were damaged during the incident, which also caused extensive damage to the laboratory and an adjoining area.