Nearly 50 firefighters were called to help extinguish a fire that broke out in the basement of a commercial building in Zion where tires were being stored, authorities said.
The Zion Fire-Rescue Department responded around 2:13 a.m. Thursday to C&H Tires, 2269 Sheridan Road in Zion, for a report of a structure fire.
Zion Fire-Rescue Department Battalion Chief Jason Messick said firefighters arrived to find light smoke coming from the rear of the building.
Entry was made to the business, which was closed, and heavy black smoke and high levels of heat were found.
The fire was located in the basement, which was being used for storage of automotive tires.
Messick said the heavy fire load of items burning at very high temperatures made finding the seat of the fire “difficult and more dangerous.”
Crews also had limited access and egress also was a concern.
“Smoke conditions were heavy and so personnel had zero visibility and had to rely on thermal imaging camera to find the fire,” Messick said.
The fire was contained to the basement and extinguished by fire department personnel.
Adjacent apartments occupied by sleeping residents were evacuated until the fire was extinguished.
Crews then completed overhaul operations to make sure the fire did not extend, Messick said.
20 fire department apparatuses with 45 fire personnel responded to the scene.
The Newport, Beach Park, Pleasant Prairie, Winthrop Harbor, Gurnee, Waukegan, Bristol, Grayslake, Kenosha, Lake Forest, Lake Villa, Antioch, North Chicago, Countryside and Libertyville fire departments assisted at the scene or covered calls in Zion.
The Zion Police Department, Zion ESDA, Zion Building Department, ComEd and North Shore Gas also responded to the scene.
No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Messick said it is believed improper use or overloading of extension cords may have played a role in the fire.
Working smoke detectors resulted in early notification to the fire department, minimizing the damage to the building.