Empty Retail Space Fire, 200 Block East Golf Road

Arlington Heights Fire Department firefighters use a Halligan tool and sledge hammer or sledge side of a fire axe to force entry into the front door quickly, but with minimal damage to the retail storefront.

Arlington Heights Fire Department responded to a report of flames to the ceiling inside an empty retail space in a one-story strip shopping center about 9:15 p.m. Thursday. Witnesses called in to report flames reaching up to the ceiling in a retail space that was formerly the Card Party Outlet Store in the 200 block of East Golf Road. When firefighters and police officers arrived, they found the retail space filled with smoke with no flames.

Firefighters forced entry into the front door of the retail space in the northwest corner of the one-story strip shopping center near XSPORT FITNESS. They found that a fire had been extinguished by an activated sprinkler head. None of the other retail spaces were disrupted by the fire.

Firefighters ventilated the retail space and confirmed no additional fire. Witness saw floating, glowing embers inside the building immediately after the firefighters arrived. Once witness feared he was seeing things after he called 9-1-1 to report flames to the ceiling, and then returned to see nothing inside the store — the smoke difficult to see without a flashlight.

XSPORT FITNESS employees and members were key figures in helping firefighters and police reach the proper location and minimize damage to the shopping center.

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