Mount Prospect Fire Destroys Downtown Building at Main St and Northwest Highway.
There’s good news and bad news in Mount Prospect after Sunday’s 4:00 a.m. major fire that destroyed the building that was home to Sakura Japanese Restaurant of Chicagoland, the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, and Picket Fence Realty. The good news is no residents were injured, no firefighters were injured, and no pets were lost.
The other good news is firefighters worked successfully to contain a fire that could have burned the entire building to the ground. The water supply worked well in near zero-degree weather as impressive streams were delivered from three aerial towers overhead, several handlines from Main Street, and a deck gun on top of a fire engine in the rear parking lot. The newly-constructed buildings to the south and east were evacuated, as the lower parking deck filled with smoke, and residents reported smelling a strong odor of smoke in their units. Some residents noticed the exhaust fans in the parking garage were working extra hard. All residents were highly complimentary of the work of firefighters. Local businesses helped residents find comfort as they were sent out into the cold. Many found comfort at Oberweis, others gathered at Le Peep Cafe.
Firefighters went defensive at the main fire building — a firefighting operations term that means no firefighters are inside the building working an interior attack because of excessive risk. Firefighters were in a defensive mode of a different order to protect Central Continental Bakery — a favorite of many. A firefighting crew was on very careful watch — inside and outside — to look for signs of ignition inside the brick building. If a building next-door to a main fire building gets hot enough, contents can spontaneously ignite. Fortunately, early reports are that none of that happened.
The bad news? The quaint tudor-style building is coming down. Picket Fence co-owner Paul Duchek says he was initially told he could come in later on Sunday and retrieve contents from the business location that miraculously was saved from the total destruction that occurred two units away. He took time to freshen up for some hard work after getting up in the morning to assess the damage. When he returned, he was told the building had been deemed structurally unsound. While some priority items, such as computers, were retrieved early, much more remained inside the Mount Prospect business location.
Picket Fence Mount Prospect immediately went to work to look for a new Mount Prospect location. The Mount Prospect phone line (847-259-8600) is still in service, but operations are temporarily being conducted at the Arlington Heights location. Tom Zander and Mary Zander are going forward with managing a new location in Mount Prospect, and hope to have a location chosen within the next three days.
Residents in six apartment units on the second floor lost their homes and all or most of their possessions. Mount Prospect Human Services went to work to help their residents find shelter.
Hard work is progressing to re-open Central Continental Bakery. Electric power needs to be re-connected, and the building is being inspected closely for safety as the neighboring building will be demolished in the next few days. Product pickups were being handled across the street at Village Hall.
Contents at the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce office were destroyed, but operations are continuing without interruption.
TRAFFIC ALERT: N/B Elmhurst Rd/Main St (Rt 83) is closed b/t Northwest Hwy and Central Rd due to a fire investigation….
— MountProspectPolice (@MountProspectPD) February 10, 2014
Mount Prospect police alert reports only the northbound lanes are closed, but Google traffic alert below reports that ALL lanes are closed.
Main Street between Northwest Highway and Central Road is closed and will be closed for the next few days as the area is a collapse-risk zone and will undergo a demolition operation in the next few days. Traffic is likely to be difficult beginning Monday morning.
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