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Fire at strip mall in Waukegan under investigation

A firefighter uses a hose line to extinguish a strip mall fire in the 2200 block of Grand Avenue in Waukegan Monday afternoon. | Photo: Max Weingardt.

A building fire sent flames and smoke billowing from a 15-unit strip mall in Waukegan Monday afternoon, fire officials said.

The Waukegan Fire Department and Waukegan Police Department responded around 3 p.m. Monday to the 2200 block of Grand Avenue for a report of a structure fire.

Firefighters arrived and found smoke and flames coming from the roof line of a 15-unit strip mall with a large attached medical building.

The fire appears to have started above Soto’s Bakery in the strip mall. The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was activated to bring additional area fire departments to assist with extinguishing the blaze.

“The aggressive tactics deployed by these fire personnel prevented fire from destroying both the medical building and adjacent business,” fire officials said in a statement.

Firefighters extinguish a strip mall fire in the 2200 block of Grand Avenue in Waukegan Monday afternoon. | Photo: Woo-Sung Shim / Lake and McHenry County Scanner.

Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said that firefighters quickly stopped the fire from causing much further damage.

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“Waukegan Fire Chief Bridges would like to express how proud he is and everyone should be in each and every firefighter that mitigated this rapidly and safely mitigated this potentially disastrous scene,” the fire department said.

Over half of the businesses in the strip mall were able to reopen within two hours of the fire. A damage estimate was not immediately available.

No injuries to firefighters or civilians were reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.


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