CITY OF NORTHLAKE; Fireworks are suspected cause of fire that temporarily closed Franklin Park ice arena
City of Northlake issued the following announcement on July 10.
Franklin Park Fire Department officials believe fireworks were the cause of an early morning fire Wednesday that caused damage to a local park district ice arena.
Officials are still investigating the incident, which initially came in as a report of smoke coming from the back of the Franklin Park Ice Arena, 9711 Waveland Ave., Fire Chief William Brehm said in a report on Thursday.
Signs on the door of the ice arena on Thursday informed patrons that the facility would be closed through Sunday to allow for a thorough cleaning. However, a message posted on the ice arena’s website, www.fpice.com, stated that “smoke damage was found throughout the entire facility,” adding that “for the safety and welfare of all patrons,” the arena would not resume operation until Sept. 4. The ice arena’s website stated that officials are “facilitating the logistics of programs and classes.”
Franklin Park crews were aided by responders from neighboring communities in preventing the fire from spreading – a job that took on complications because of the fog caused by the thawing ice at the facility, Brehm said.
Overall, “our crews did an excellent job of locating the fire and utilizing multiple departments in different locations to attack this fire and prevent any further extension,” he said.
The department responded to a report of smoke coming from the back of the ice arena at 2:19 a.m. Wednesday, Brehm said.
Upon arrival, Franklin Park crews noted that the garage directly behind the ice arena, on Reeves Court, was a fully involved fire, Brehm said.
He said Acting Battalion Chief Nick Steker, in command on the scene, identified the problem of having the garage fire spreading to the ice arena on nearby Waveland.
While extinguishing the garage required pretty straightforward tactics, Brehm said Steker identified the problem of having a fully involved garage fire on Reeves Court taking hold at the ice center. He said conditions in the area also posed a challenge “due to working in a narrow gangway, needing roof access,” as well as “the smoke from smoldering insulation mixing with the fog created by thawing ice, limiting visibility.”
Brehm said once firefighters cut a hole in the roof and began employing multiple fans, “we were able to quickly clear the smoke and determine that all hazards were removed from the ice arena.”
Brehm said park district managers were also on the scene with the fire crews almost immediately and helped with locating the heating and air conditioning systems and opening doors without causing any further damage.
There were no injuries reported, he said.
He said Thursday that the finding of fireworks as a possible cause was based on initial verbal reports, and that the determination is unconfirmed and still under investigation at this time.
Along with Franklin Park, Brehm said other communities providing equipment and personnel at the scene were Schiller Park, Leyden, River Grove, Elmwood Park and Melrose Park.
About 28 personnel were part of the response, Brehm reported.
Meanwhile, he said that no structural damage occurred to the ice arena and that the arena was not the area of origin.
Original source can be found here.