Massive Schaumburg fire that destroyed commercial building started by car repair mishap

Schaumburg Fire Department said sparks from cutting tool ignited some gas-soaked rags

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Massive fire that destroyed suburban business started by car repair
EMBED <>More Videos

The cause of a massive Schaumburg, IL fire on West Lunt Avenue has been determined, investigators said.

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (WLS) -- Sparks generated by work on a car started the massive fire that destroyed a Schaumburg commercial building Thursday night, 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, ABC7 Chicago news partner the Daily Herald reported.

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.

It took about two-and-a-half hours to get the fire under control after it broke out at around 6:30 p.m. in the building in an industrial area.

SEE MORE: Schaumburg fire crews monitor for hotspots after massive blaze destroys business

Part of the problem for firefighters was the walls in the structure collapsed, very quickly limiting their abilities. Another issue was the building layout.

"The building is separated into many different compartments so we had a lot of access issues to get to the fire from the front end or the back," said Gus Tsoulos, with the Schaumburg Fire Department.

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.

No one was injured. The person inside that called 911 managed to get out safely.