Fire burns Algonquin's Toastmaster building

  • An aerial view of the Toastmaster factory in Algonquin.

    An aerial view of the Toastmaster factory in Algonquin. Courtesy ABC 7

  • Firefighters respond to an early morning fire Monday at the old Toastmaster factory in Algonquin.

    Firefighters respond to an early morning fire Monday at the old Toastmaster factory in Algonquin. Bob Chwedyk

  • Firefighters respond to an early morning fire Monday at the old Toastmaster factory in Algonquin.

    Firefighters respond to an early morning fire Monday at the old Toastmaster factory in Algonquin. Bob Chwedyk

  • Firefighters respond to an early morning fire Monday at the old Toastmaster factory in Algonquin.

    Firefighters respond to an early morning fire Monday at the old Toastmaster factory in Algonquin. Bob Chwedyk

  • Firefighters respond to an early morning fire Monday at the old Toastmaster factory in Algonquin.

    Firefighters respond to an early morning fire Monday at the old Toastmaster factory in Algonquin. Bob Chwedyk

  • St. John's Lutheran School was closed Monday due to all the emergency vehicle traffic responding to the fire at the old Toastmaster factory in Algonquin.

    St. John's Lutheran School was closed Monday due to all the emergency vehicle traffic responding to the fire at the old Toastmaster factory in Algonquin. Rick West

  • Shawn Lamar, left, and Mike Saenz of the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District keep a hose on the smoldering, abandoned Toastmaster factory in Algonquin at about 9:30 a.m. Monday The first firefighters arrived at about 4:40 a.m.

    Shawn Lamar, left, and Mike Saenz of the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District keep a hose on the smoldering, abandoned Toastmaster factory in Algonquin at about 9:30 a.m. Monday The first firefighters arrived at about 4:40 a.m. Rick West

  • An aerial view of the Toastmaster factory in Algonquin.

    An aerial view of the Toastmaster factory in Algonquin. Courtesy ABC 7

  • An aerial view of the Toastmaster factory in Algonquin.

    An aerial view of the Toastmaster factory in Algonquin. Courtesy ABC 7

  • An aerial view of the Toastmaster factory in Algonquin.

    An aerial view of the Toastmaster factory in Algonquin. Courtesy ABC 7

  • Firefighters respond to an early morning fire Monday at the old Toastmaster factory in Algonquin.

      Firefighters respond to an early morning fire Monday at the old Toastmaster factory in Algonquin. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/18/2010 2:10 PM

The abandoned Toastmaster factory in Algonquin slated for demolition to pave the way for a bypass around the village's downtown burned to the ground early this morning.

"The walls are the only thing standing. It's gutted, said John Greene, battalion chief for the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District.

 

Greene said there were no injuries in the blaze, which was reported to firefighters at 4:38 a.m. today.

Greene said crews were on the scene at 401 Washington St. in two minutes to find the building, which had been vacant for about 10 years and recently deeded to the Illinois Department of Transporation, engulfed in flames.

The fire was declared under control at about 7:05 a.m., but investigators remained on the scene, Greene said.

Gree said a cause has not been determined and he would not call the fire suspicious at this time.

The six-acre site is along the path of the long-awaited Route 31 bypass, which will relieve congestion in the village's downtown.

Funding for the $80 million project was recently included in the state's $31 billion capital plan.

The old factory has long been vandalized, Greene said, adding this is the second time within the last two years firefighters were called in to put out a fire.

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The fire caused quite a spectacle in downtown. Students at St. John's Lutheran School got the day off, because fire departments in Algonquin used its parking lot.

Sherry Brewer, owner and keeper of the Victorian Rose Garden Bed and Breakfast, 314 Washington St., fortunately didn't have any overnight guests Sunday and got a call from a neighbor alerting her to the blaze.

"(The building was) due to come down anyway, maybe by the end of the month. Well, now it will anyway, said Brewer, whose business is east of the path of the planned bypass. "I'll tell (Monday night's guests) what they missed. The street was full of trucks and people. The Salvation Army was here feeding the firefighters. It was quite an event.

Firefighters from the Algonquin/Lake in the Hills were assisted at the blaze by tankers and firefighters from Carpentersville, Huntley, Barrington, Elgin, Cary, East and West Dundee, Crystal Lake, McHenry Township, Streamwood, Hoffman Estates, and Fox River Grove, Greene said.

Staff writer Lee Filas contributed to this report.