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A fire burns at a manufacturing building at 2929 W. Venture Drive, Janesville, on Thursday. The fire started outside the building and caused $300,000 in damage, fire officials said.

JANESVILLE

A fire that started outside a south-side Janesville manufacturing building Thursday caused $300,000 in damage, the Janesville Fire Department reported.

The fire started in a pile of plastic pallets outside the south side of the 700,000-square-foot building, which houses several businesses, said Capt. John McManus of the fire department.

The cause of the blaze at 2929 W. Venture Drive was still under investigation Friday, but it was not initially believed to be suspicious, McManus said.

The fire sent up a huge cloud of dark smoke. Firefighters were dispatched at 2:26 p.m. Thursday and extinguished the blaze within seven minutes of their arrival, “which is pretty rockin’,” McManus said.

No one was injured.

The blaze affected the exterior of the building, and workers at Novares, a plastics manufacturer, used fire extinguishers and called the fire department when they noticed a problem with an electrical panel inside, McManus said.

A sprinkler system inside contained the fire there, according to a fire department report.

A car parked nearby also caught fire.

Novares, which makes plastic parts for the automotive industry, bought out the former Miniature Precision Components, or MPC, last year.

Firefighters’ work allowed Novares to resume production after four hours, McManus said.

Mutual aid came from firefighters from the city of Beloit, Milton and Footville, and the Rock County Sheriff’s Office provided its air boat, which was used to blow smoke out of the large interior spaces, McManus said.

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