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Workers at a northeast Lincoln plastics manufacturer started Wednesday morning by preheating their oven, but they didn’t get the kind of fire they were looking for.

The oven, which heats to 700 degrees, was empty just after 8 a.m. but set plastic residue on fire, which spit flames into the ceiling at Snyder Industries, 4700 Fremont St., Fire Investigator Chuck Schweitzer said.

The heat activated the building’s sprinkler system, which kept the fire at bay until Lincoln Fire and Rescue got there and put the fire out at about 8:25, Assistant Chief Pat Borer said.

Firefighters reported heavy smoke coming from the building, which is worth $743,000, according to the Lancaster County Assessor.

Snyder Industries makes large plastic containers, including food bins, agricultural silos, water and septic tanks, according to the company’s website.

The fire did around $10,000 damage to the oven and building, but that pales in comparison to what could’ve happened if the sprinklers hadn’t kept the fire in check, Schweitzer said.

“Fire sprinkler systems are there for a reason. It not only saves property, it can save lives,” he added. “It could’ve been a lot worse.”

Borer said the fire didn’t injure anyone.

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