|Image for Chicago Firehouse Restaurant after Fire |
(via Chicago Talks)
A fire at a South Loop firehouse-turned-restaurant in early December has prompted Landmarks Illinois, a nonprofit preservation organization, to beef up its efforts to prevent future fires caused by construction-related accidents in historic buildings.
The extra-alarm fire on 1401 S. Michigan Ave. was contained but caused heavy damage.
Evanston resident Duane Yost, who was at the scene of the fire, recalls water rapidly flooding out of the building as firefighters fought to contain the flames. The fire was devastating to the structure, causing the restaurant to temporarily close for business. Everyone was evacuated from the structure safety, but firefighters were unable to keep the roof from caving in.
So what is the nonprofit trying to do? The article sums it up:
Lisa DiChiera, director of advocacy for Landmarks Illinois said fires like the one at the Firehouse are a recurring problem for owners of many historic buildings who hire contractors who aren’t cautious enough when working on historic premises. Landmarks Illinois is looking into revisiting this problem and coming up with a possible policy to help prevent any future disasters.
The organization hopes to possibly meet with Illinois State Fire Marshal and also talk to owners of historic buildings about hiring the right type of contractors. They’ve talked to Illinois Sen. Pamela Althoff previously McHenry mayor, who was unavailable for comment at this time.