June 20, 2023

PROSPECT HEIGHTS —Today, Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at 12:37 p.m. the Prospect Heights Fire Protection District was dispatched to a reported fire at 1209 N. Elmhurst Road in Prospect Heights.  

Upon arrival, a significant amount of smoke was seen coming from the rear of the building. A closer look showed fire and heavy, dark smoke coming from the roof and interior. The building involved was a strip mall shopping center with 12 businesses. Several businesses adjacent to the area of the fire were filling with smoke.

All the businesses were evacuated and hoses were taken into the building to extinguish the fire. The fire rapidly spread in the ceiling and roof. Several water streams from aerial ladder trucks were used to control that spread until hoses could take over.

Due to the magnitude of the fire and potential for loss of property, the incident commander made a request for assistance using the mutual aid box alarm system – MABAS. This brought firefighters from more than a dozen other fire departments who assisted with the firefighting efforts.

No civilians were injured. One firefighter suffered non-life-threatening injuries that required medical care. The apartment complex to the rear of the building was never threatened by the fire.

The fire was brought under control and extinguished within one hour of arrival using several hose lines, four aerial apparatus water streams, and 26 fire apparatus. Firefighters spent more than three hours checking for hot spots and fire spread to ensure the fire was completely out.

All 12 businesses are displaced until hazards are resolved and repairs are made.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation

The Prospect Heights Fire Protections District reminds everyone to always have two ways to escape from their home or work place, to ensure smoke alarms are present and working, and to develop an emergency plan should their home or business be destroyed by a fire or other disaster.

Fire sprinklers save lives and property. Had this structure been equipped with fire sprinklers, the original fire may have been extinguished prior to the arrival of the fire department or at the worst, contained to the area where it had started.