Demolition could begin as early as Wednesday on part of the fire-ravaged historic downtown Mount Prospect building that formerly housed Sakura Japanese Restaurant, officials said.
No one was injured in the fire that ripped through 105 S. Main St. early Sunday morning, but Sakura, as well as the offices of the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, Picket Fence Realty, six apartments and the neighboring Central Continental Bakery have all been displaced, some temporarily, others more permanently.
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"The restaurant is, can we say, toast," Village Manager Michael Janonis said.
Officials believe the fire started somewhere in Sakura, and said the north area of the building where the restaurant was located sustained the most damage.
Janonis said insurance companies and the building's owner met with village officials Tuesday and are working to determine what, if any, parts of the building can be restored.
"At the very least there will be a partial demolition of the north end of the building," he said. "It's pretty much totaled. Whether or not part of the building can be saved is another question." The building owner could not to be reached for comment Monday or Tuesday.
Main Street (Route 83) near the restaurant remains closed and likely will be until the end of the week due to safety concerns, Janonis said.
"There is significant damage to the building, and our concern is that if the front facade that faces Route 83 isn't stable, it could collapse into the roadway," he said.
Officials remain cautious about letting tenants of the businesses and apartments back into the damaged areas because conditions were made more dangerous by this week's cold temperatures.
For some who were affected by Sunday's fire, it was business as usual Tuesday.
Central Continental Bakery has been selling its goods out of Mount Prospect Village Hall. Picket Fence Realty agents are working out of a sister office in Arlington Heights and planning to open a new temporary location. Leaders of the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce are working remotely until they find a new location.
Of the six second-floor apartments, those above the restaurant sustained the most damage. Some residents were able to find temporary housing with family and friends; others are staying at area hotels.
The state fire marshal is still investigating the cause of the fire in the 150,000-square-foot building. The first- and second-floor ceilings of the restaurant caved in, and a pile of debris has accumulated on top of the basement, according to Fire Chief John Malcolm, making it difficult to determine exactly how the fire started.
"The good thing is nobody lost their lives," Janonis said.