SOUTH ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) --Fire destroyed a daycare center early Wednesday morning in northwest suburban South Elgin. Thankfully, no children or staff were hurt.
Firefighters responded around 5:30 a.m. to a report of a blaze at the KinderCare in the 1200-block of West Spring Street, about 45 minutes before the center was scheduled to open. An attendant at a nearby gas station made the call. Police were first to arrive.
"We checked for anyone inside the building and no one was there," said Sergeant Mike Doty, South Elgin Police Department.
The damage was extensive. About 50 firefighters from 14 different communities helped extinguish the fire. Preliminary investigation shows the point of origin was outside the building, not inside.
"We told the dispatcher we had a heavy volume of fire going on in the southwest corner, going up into the attic and we'd be fighting it from the outside," said Chief Bill Sohn, South Elgin Fire Department.
Investigators have not ruled out arson.
On an average week, the South Elgin location takes in about 100 children. KinderCare Communications Supervisor Colleen Moran said since this week is spring break, about 80 children were expected at the center. But the families who did need day care this week were notified of the fire and have been taken care of.
"Local KinderCares in the area are taking in the families from this facility, so families do have an option to go somewhere else," South Elgin Parks and Recreation Department Director Kim Wascher said.
"I wanted him to com e in and see, because it's really going to affect him. We're going to have to go into a new day care," said Melissa Villa, whose son was enrolled at the South Elgin KinderCare.