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Article posted: 2/3/2013 4:45 PM

Early morning fire damages Des Plaines business

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An early morning blaze caused an estimated $25,000 damage to a Des Plaines building today, but fire officials say the result could have been much worse had the property not been equipped with sprinklers.

Des Plaines firefighters were called to the fire at 216 Graceland Ave., on the southwest corner of Graceland and Rand Road, at 12:01 a.m. and arrived four minutes later to find a large fire in the north end of the building, officials said.

Fire Chief Alan Wax said automatic fire sprinklers contained the fire, so crews were able to quickly extinguish it with one hose line.

The businesses were closed so there was no one in the building when the fire started and there were no injuries, Wax said.

The fire started in or near a storage rack in the shop, according to the fire department, but what caused it remains under investigation.

Wax said sprinklers were added to the building when it was remodeled about 15 years ago.

"The sprinklers definitely saved this building and the various occupancies within it," the chief said in a news release. "It is very evident that, without the sprinklers, by the time the fire department would have been notified, the fire would have advanced deeply into the open wooden truss ceiling, and the building likely would have been a total loss. Instead, one business has some cleaning up to do, two others have some smoke odor to air out, and they will all be back in business quickly."

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