Police, firefighters and paramedics from Lake Zurich responded about 10:04 p.m. Tuesday, March 30, 2020 to a report of a fire at the Burger King restaurant at 642 South Rand Road in Lake Zurich.
Firefighters arrived on the scene withing five minutes, and had water on the fire by 10:15 p.m. Firefighters reported moderated smoke coming from the eaves of the building.
All customers and employees were evacuated safely. Lake Zurich Battalion Chief 32 reported fire was through the roof at 10:31 p.m. Firefighters discovered the fire traveled up an exterior wall and reached a void space above the main entrance to Burger King, before breaking through to the roof.
A MABAS Division 4 Box Alarm #32-T was activated at 10:34 p.m. to bring extra crews to fight the fire. The fire was extinguished using streams from two hose lines, and streams from two aerial trucks — one from Wauconda and one from Buffalo Grove.
The fire was declared active but under control by about 10:46 p.m. ComEd responded to the scene and arrived by 10:49 p.m. The fire was declared out, and firefighters were in overhaul phase by 11:17 p.m.
Firefighters, paramedics and/or command officers from Arlington Heights, Barrington, Buffalo Grove, Cary, Countryside, Fox River Grove, Libertyville, Long Grove, Mount Prospect, Mundelein, Palatine, and Wheeling were assigned to the scene with the MABAS Box Alarm.
Firefighters, paramedics and/or command officers from Crystal Lake, Elk Grove Township, Mundelein, Lake Forest stood by at Lake Zurich fire stations, also as part of the MABAS Box Alarm assignment.
The preliminary fire investigation indicates the fire started in exterior landscaping mulch, and progressed up the exterior wall of the building. Mulch can spontaneously ignite, when it is piled too deeply and builds up heat. Mulch should not be piled deeper than 4 inches near a building. Mulch is also frequently ignited by carelessly discarded cigarettes. Space from mulch to a building or flammable building materials should have a minimum of 18-inch clearance between landscape mulch beds and the combustible building materials, made of wood, vinyl siding and decks, for example.
The Burger King building sustained fire, smoke, and water damage that was initially estimated at $150,000. The estimated property and contents saved is $400,000.
There were no reports of any firefighter or civilian injuries. Lake Zurich police were on the scene for traffic control.
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