Palatine police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 10:17 a.m. Friday January 25, 2019 to an activated alarm, and then a report of a fire at Dirty Nellie’s, 180 North Smith Street. Police first on the scene reported fire and smoke showing. The fire was immediately upgraded to a working fire (Code 4) upon the update from the police on scene that fire and smoke was visible. The fire involved a gas line, which was feeding the fire on the south side of the building near the kitchen. The fire was mostly contained to an outside area, and firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading to the interior of the building. Firefighters were able to shut off the gas line at the gas meter which was surrounded by fire.
The gas line was hissing and firefighters kept the fire from extending while they attempted to shut off the gas. Police evacuated the building as firefighters arrived. The front line attack firefighter alternated the water from the area of the flames by the gas to the roof that was burning in order to effectively prevent the fire from extending to other parts of the building. Firefighters on the roof alternately hit the fire from an elevated position on a higher roof near the fire. Those were the two main lines that were used to attack the fire
The fire department response was elevated to a MABAS Box Alarm for an extra alarm fire, but the gas line was shut off at the meter just after the MABAS Box Alarm was activated. The Box Alarm was struck out in a short time.
Firefighters led out five hose lines to attack the fire. One was led out across the roof of the building. Palatine’s tower ladder was positioned at the front of the building, so that firefighters could access the roof. There was no access for the tower ladder truck at the south end of the building because of the Union Pacific northwest line railroad tracks just south of the building.
With flames in close proximity, a firefighter and/or a Nicor representative managed to shut off the gas line with a wrench near the gas meter. Otherwise, Nicor would have had to dig into the street to to interrupt gas flow to the building from an underground line.
The Palatine Health Department responded immediately to the scene, and inspected the kitchen. Initially it is unknown how long the kitchen will be closed. Damage to the main kitchen was initially believed to be limited to smoke and water damage.
Firefighters from Palatine Rural Fire Protection District and Rolling Meadows Fire Department were on the scene working with Palatine firefighters.
Fire investigators are working to investigate the cause of the fire.
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