Car repair mishap led to massive fire at industrial building in Schaumburg

A massive fire that led to the demolition of a storage building in an industrial area of southwest Schaumburg was caused by sparks generated by work on a car, investigators have determined.

Schaumburg Fire Chief Jim Walters said one of the occupants of the building on the 1000 block of West Lunt Avenue had been working on a car inside the structure during the late afternoon of Jan. 12.

Sparks from a cutting tool ignited some gas-soaked rags, sparking the huge blaze.

"He attempted to put the fire out before calling the fire department," Walters said. "By the time our first apparatus arrived on the scene, the fire was blowing out the front bay door."

The fire was reported at 6:17 p.m. by two men inside who escaped without injury.

Walters said it was immediately clear firefighters could not safely enter the building to battle the blaze from within. Firefighters were on the scene only a short time before the east wall started to collapse.

The fire was declared under control by 9 p.m. that evening.

The remaining structure was demolished after fire crews determined it was necessary to extinguish pockets of fire discovered amid the debris.

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Industrial building razed to completely extinguish fire

The massive blaze Schaumburg firefighters battled on the 1000 block of Lunt Avenue Jan. 12 was caused a car repair mishap inside the storage building, fire investigators have determined. Courtesy of Jake Silker
A storage building on the 1000 block of West Lunt Avenue in Schaumburg was gutted by a Jan. 12 fire. The building later was fully demolished to extinguish pockets of fire left amid the debris. Courtesy of Schaumburg Fire Department
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