Evanston police and firefighters responded about 7:39 p.m. Thursday June 20, 2019 to a report of a fire at the Laundry World laundromat at 838 Dodge Avenue — the southwest corner of Dodge Avenue and Main Street.
Fire officials report that the fire started in the laundromat on the south side of the building. Evanston police officers, first on the scene, reported heavy smoke coming from the building.
Callers had reported fire showing through the roof. Evanston Fire Department reported that part of the roof had collapsed within minutes of the first firefighting crews arriving on the scene. Fire operations were limited to a defensive or exterior attack because of the type of the roof and the report of roof collapse. The was brought under control within about 60 minutes.
The building consisted of an older bow truss roof design, which has large void spaces, usually involving a rapid spread of fire, include a high risk of collapse.
“Typically these types of fires are a total loss. Given the advanced stage of fire upon arrival and the extremely dangerous building construction features that faced them, the firefighters did an outstanding job of quickly containing the fire to area of origin while saving a majority of the structure.”
— Fire Chief Brian Scott
There were no reported injuries to either civilians or firefighters.
The cause of the fire is under investigation. A beauty supply business, Main Beauty Supply is located next to the laundromat in the same building. Also, a senior center, spa, driving school, The UPS Store and other businesses are located in the same building.
A MABAS Division 3 Box Alarm was activated at 7:44 p.m. Firefighters from Glenview, Morton Grove, Niles, Northfield, Skokie, Wilmette assisted Evanston firefighters at the scene for the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System response. Firefighters from Des Plaines, Glencoe, Northbrook, Skokie, and Winnetka stood by in Evanston fire stations to protect the rest of Evanston in case of any other incidents.
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