Commercial Building Destroyed by Fire

Photos by Harlem-Roscoe Fire Photographer Sheryl Drost

January 15, 2009


Sub-zero temperatures mixed in with gusting winds made a bad combination on January 15. Harlem-Roscoe Firefighters fought a commercial structure fire at 10469 Product Drive in Machesney Park. The metal storage building owned by Paul's Crane Service was completely involved with fire when units arrived. Initial attack crews were quickly pulled from the building, and the fire would be fought defensively; it would be deemed too dangerous for crews to be on the inside. Harlem-Roscoe's aerial truck was also used to help extinguish the fire after the roof collapsed.

"We not only had to contend with frozen hydrants, but that water froze to ice rapidly on the fire scene," says Harlem-Roscoe Fire Chief Don Shoevlin. "Since initial water supply could not be established due to frozen hydrants, firefighters had to use tank water until a water supply was established at a different hydrant." Chief Shoevlin adds, "Firefighters did an excellent job in protecting exposures considering all of the weather related problems that were encountered. The fire was contained to this building only." The department would like to thank the Foss landscaping business next door for letting them use his heated shop for rehab, so firefighters could be rotated inside to warm up, rest, and re-hydrate.

Mutual aid was called for firefighters from North Park and Rockton Fire to respond to the scene and for South Beloit Fire to cover Station One. The State Fire Marshal and Harlem-Roscoe's Fire Investigators were on scene after the fire, and believe it to be an unintentional fire with the cause undetermined at this time. The metal building, being used for storage warehouse including a new semi tractor, a dump truck, and an ATV, is a total loss with estimated damages of $350,000.