Fire at May Whitney Elementary School Contained to One Classroom by Lake Zurich Firefighters and Mutual Aid Firefighters

The Lake Zurich Fire Department responded about 5:30 a.m. Monday November 18, 2019 to an activated fire alarm at the May Whitney Elementary School, 100 Church Street in Lake Zurich. A fire in a second-floor classroom was discovered by a member of the maintenance staff who activated a pull station. The quick-thinking staff member left the door closed, which contained the fire to the classroom. The initial dispatch was upgraded to a structure fire response after the staff member dialed 911 to confirm there was a fire and provide additional details.

The first engine crew was on scene within three minutes and found heavy smoke and fire in a classroom on the second floor. Crews quickly brought the fire under control, and the fire was declared under control within 20 minutes. Other than the maintenance and custodial staff, the building was not occupied at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported.

The classroom sustained significant damage, and the remainder of the second floor suffered smoke and water damage. Preliminary damage estimates were not available Monday afternoon. The preliminary cause of the fire was determined to be a malfunctioning fan motor.

The Lake Zurich fire department received assistance through the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) which activated fire crew responses from Arlington Heights, Barrington, Barrington-Countryside, Buffalo Grove, Countryside, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods, Hoffman Estates, Long Grove, Palatine, Palatine Rural, and Wauconda fire agencies. Some out of town fire crews were returned before they arrived, but crews that arrived on scene assisted with cleanup and overhaul.

Fire-related safety information can be found on Lake Zurich Fire Rescue’s Facebook page ( by or by calling the fire prevention Bureau at 847-540-5073.


CARDINAL NEWS | Fire at May Whitney Elementary School on Church Street Near Jamie Ln, Lake Zurich



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