WESTERN SPRINGS – The extent of damage caused by an electrical fire Aug. 29 at the Theatre of Western Springs is currently unknown, according to a news release from the Western Springs Department of Fire and EMS.
The department responded to the reported electrical fire at 4:24 p.m. at the theater at 4384 Hampton Ave. Upon arrival, firefighters heard loud "popping" noises from an exterior transformer in the front of the building, and once inside, they confirmed there was a fire in the electrical panel that was producing heavy smoke, the release stated.
The Lyons Township Area Communications Center had dispatched a general alarm for fire crews to respond to the location, but the alarm was then elevated to a "full still level," which requested additional assistance from La Grange, Hinsdale, Pleasantview, Clarendon Hills, Westmont, Oak Brook and La Grange Park, according to the release.
Occupants were evacuating the building when firefighters arrived, and they were later moved to a recreation center across the street. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported, the release stated.
Crews were able to shut off parts of the power through another supply feed until ComEd arrived to shut off all power to the building, according to the release. The theater was ventilated to remove smoke and toxic gases.
The preliminary cause of the fire is electrical in nature, but because of the damage, the exact cause and extent of the damage cannot be determined until it is safe to access the building, which was turned over to theater management, the release stated. Entry will not be granted until the theater's insurance provider clears the building for safe access.
During this incident, two other calls for emergency service were handled by mutual aid crews, according to the release.