Illinois Crews Tackle Strip Mall Fire

On March 24, the Elmhurst IL. Fire Department responded for a structure fire in the area of Spring Rd. and the Praire Path. Crews received reports that the fire was possibly out.

They found smoke pushing from three of the five store fronts in a one-story strip mall. The fire broke out in a hair salon shortly after 11 p.m. and quickly spread to two adjoining occupancies.

The officer from Engine 2 ordered a reverse lead out and attempted to attack the fire from Division A. The second crew went to the rear of the building to check for extension. The fire made its way into the attic space and rapidly spread to the two occupancies north of where the fire originated.

High winds helped feed the flames and made it difficult for crews to extinguish the fire. At 11:40 p.m., winds shifted from SSE to NNW at 30 to 40 mph.

Command elevated the alarm and switched operations to the defensive mode. Two tower ladders were put into operation to keep the fire from destroying the entire mall. With the use of point advantage lines on the roofs of the occupancies to the north and south, the fire was brought under control.

Mutual aid companies helped in extinguishing the fire as it elevated to a third alarm. A total of 10 engines, 5 trucks, and 2 squads were on scene to assist Elmhurst.

Command called the fire under control at 1:05 a.m. Damage to three of the units was extensive and involved roof collapse.

The Du Page County Task Force was notified and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The building did not have a sprinkler system.