Wall Collapses During Wilmette (IL) Fire

Flames shot through the roof and heavy smoke billowed from the Woman’s Club of Wilmette. Part of the wall and roof collapsed as more than 50 firefighters from a dozen departments joined in the effort, reports ABC Chicago.

The fire began around 9:45 a.m. Club members said it’s possible the fire was sparked by a space heater used by the building’s caretaker and family, who live there. The structure dates back to the 1920s, so firefighters were prepared for the collapse. 

“We pre-plan these buildings heavy in town, so crews knew sort of what they were encountering,” Wilmette Fire Chief Michael McGreal said. “If there’s anything we could have done different, we would have. But we couldn’t. Property can be replaced. People can’t.” 

The building sustained heavy damage. Power was knocked out to about 172 customers, ComEd said. Two crews were sent to restore service.

The Woman’s Club of Wilmette was founded in 1891 as a service organization. Members said the club started the village’s public library and helped launch League of Women Voters. 

The building was used for weddings, bat mitzvahs and other events. 

Read more of the story here http://abc7.ws/1zMtwaL

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