Official: Unsafe elevator shaft source of fire at Elgin Tower Building

A fire believed to have started Sunday night in an elevator shaft that city inspectors have declared unsafe in the past damaged the Elgin Tower Building, according to fire officials.

No one was reported injured as a result of the fire at the downtown commercial building.

Officials said early Monday that the front door of the Elgin Tower Building was found broken and a fire inside the elevator car of the building.

Someone passing by the structure noticed fire in the lobby of the building and phoned fire crews, authorities said.

According to an Elgin Fire Department spokesman fire crews were dispatched to the scene at 7:48 p.m. Sunday.

Due to the suspicious nature of the broken door, authorities said, and the probability of the fire spreading up the elevator shaft, the alarm was immediately upgraded calling in assistance from surrounding communities.

The fire was brought under control within minutes, authorities said.

Smoke had spread was found throughout the structure, but the fire did not spread, authorities said.

Fire Investigators were called to the scene and the fire is under investigation at this time.

The building, which was built in 1929 and once housed 32 tenants, has been plagued by a host of safety issues, Elgin Mayor David Kaptain said.

In late April, Kaptain said, if the safety issues at the building were not resolved by June 30, the city would condemn it.

”Part of the facade had come down,” Kaptain said. “There's security tape around; it became a safety issue.”

The city last year filed a lawsuit in Kane County regarding safety violations at the building, which has long-standing issues regarding its sprinkler system and elevator, Kaptain said.

According to the Elgin Fire Department spokesman, the building's safety issues were not an obstacle in fighting the fire.

The building has just one business tenant. It had about six tenants in January.

  The Elgin Tower Building as it looks Monday morning after fire damged the building Sunday evening. Rick West/
  The Elgin Tower Building as it looks Monday morning after fire damged the building Sunday evening. Rick West/
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