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updated: 10/24/2012 3:55 PM

Blaze confined to first floor of bank on Fourth St.

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  • An early morning fire Wednesday damaged the State Bank of Geneva on South Fourth Street.

       An early morning fire Wednesday damaged the State Bank of Geneva on South Fourth Street.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • An ATF accelerant detection dog leaves the scene Wednesday morning after inspecting the State Bank of Geneva on South Fourth Street.

       An ATF accelerant detection dog leaves the scene Wednesday morning after inspecting the State Bank of Geneva on South Fourth Street.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Exterior damage was visible on the northwest corner of the State Bank of Geneva after Wednesday's early morning fire.

       Exterior damage was visible on the northwest corner of the State Bank of Geneva after Wednesday's early morning fire.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

 
 

Geneva fire officials have not determined the cause of a fire early Wednesday at State Bank of Geneva, 22 S. Fourth St.

Lew Deal, the bank's president and chief executive officer, said he suspects "a dying printer" caused the fire in a first-floor, northwest corner office in the bank.

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"We've been scrambling to recover," he said late Wednesday morning, as fire department officials continued to document the scene.

The walk-up and drive-up windows at an auxiliary building reopened around noon. That building, though it is connected by a tunnel to the main building, was not damaged.

A mobile banking trailer will be set up in the parking lot in front of the bank to handle transactions normally done in the main lobby. Deal hopes to have that connected by Thursday.

The two-story brick building remains closed. The first floor sustained heavy smoke damage, while the second floor, home to other businesses, had less smoke damage, according to Geneva Fire Department Chief Steve Olson. The flames were contained to the office.

There was water damage in the basement when a pipe broke.

The bank's lobby contains 12 paintings of scenes in Geneva, commissioned in the 1970s for a bank anniversary. Those photos have sustained soot and smoke damage, Deal said.

Geneva asked the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for help. The ATF sent investigators, and a dog capable of detecting accelerants and gunpowder. Agent Thomas Ahern, the spokesman for the Chicago field division, said local departments commonly ask for ATF's help because of the ATF's extensive resources.

Olson said, however, the fire does not appear to be suspicious.

The fire was reported via alarm at 3 a.m. No one was inside the bank at the time, and no fire personnel were injured fighting the fire, said Mark Einwich, the fire department's deputy chief of operations.

The Geneva Fire Department was assisted by St. Charles, Batavia, Elburn, Carol Stream, North Aurora, West Chicago, Fermilab, Winfield and Sugar Grove fire departments.

The bank celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2003. The current building was built in 1978.

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