Evanston firefighters brought a June 20 fire under control in a building that houses a beauty supply store and laundromat at 838 Dodge Ave.
The adjoining astores are located in the Main-Dodge shopping strip. There were no reported injuries to either civilians or firefighters.
Crews arriving on the scene just after 7:30 p.m. reported heavy fire and smoke coming from the building roof, where the truss area contains large empty spaces that can encourage a fire to spread quickly and cause the building to collapse.
As a result, “a defensive attack was initiated” and “the fire was brought under control in about 60 minutes,” the Department said in a press release.
“Typically, these types of fires are a total loss,” said Evanston Fire Chief Brian Scott afterwards. “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 the area of origin while saving a majority of the structure.”
The building owner, Harry Major, said the fire stated around 7:30 p.m. in the back of the Laundromat, Laundry World, which sustained most of the fire damage.
He said most of the smoke damage was confined to the Main-Beauty Supply store. Those two businesses are located in the south building of the shopping plaza.
Mr. Major said the building’s brick north wall acted as a fire wall, keeping the fire and much of the smoke from the other buildings there.
Damage estimates were not immediately available. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, Chief Scott said.
Evanston fire companies were assisted by neighboring communities in handling the fire as well as providing fire and emergency medical services coverage for the remainder of the City during the incident.