Fire causes destruction in Downtown MP

unnamedBy Shreya Thakkar

News Editor

A fire broke out in Sakura, a Japanese restaurant located in downtown Mount Prospect, on Sunday Feb. 9, around 4:15 a.m. The fire, which took roughly four hours to extinguish,  destroyed the historic building, left the residents living in apartments above the restaurant displaced and streets closed. Due to the fire, neighboring businesses, Central Continental Bakery and the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, suffered water damage.

No injuries were reported, and as of now, displaced residents are living in hotels or with family, and businesses like Central Continental Bakery which temporarily relocated to the village hall, have found a temporary location, or have yet to decide the next step, like Sakura.

Most Mount Prospect families heard the news well after the fire had been extinguished and conditions had settled down; however, that was not the case for senior Ariana Galle, and her sister, sophomore Giana Galle.

Their father, Keith, is a 4-year member of Mount Prospect’s Community Emergency Response Team. As a part of that, he aids Mount Prospect’s public works or police and fire departments in any type of emergency.

Sunday morning at 4:30 a.m., he received a page asking him to report to 105 S. Main St. Without knowledge of any other information, Keith arrived at the fire and realized the location.

“I was really surprised how big the fire was,” Keith said. “It started in the basement, and by the time I got there, which was an hour later, it was literally burning through the roof itself.”

Fire trucks from neighboring towns and the Red Cross were also called for help.

As firefighters were occupied extinguishing the fire (to watch a video of Mount Prospect

firefighters putting the fire out click here), Keith and the other four members of the Community Emergency Response team secured the perimeter of the area to keep people away and out of the danger zone, provide necessities such as water or snacks to firemen, and assisted victims of the fire to seek shelter in the village hall and, after the fire was extinguished, go to the scene and collect what was left of their belongings. They were at the scene helping out for eight hours.

According to Keith, the victims whose homes were destroyed were in shock.

“There was one victim that I had talked to for a few minutes, and of course he was just in disbelief,” Keith said. “There was nothing left, and we actually heard the “boom” when the floor of the apartments collapsed onto the restaurant. It’s devastating, and you feel sorry for them.”

According to Keith, providing this service to the community is important to him.

“A lot of us believe in giving back to our community,” Keith said. “We feel that we make a difference. One of the big things that we promote is safety, and we want to help our community, help our residents through emergencies.”