Glenview hotel damaged in fire
Firefighters respond to a fire at the Courtyard Marriott at the intersection of Milwaukee and Euclid in Glenview on Sept. 19th. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 20, 2012 1:45PM
Authorities said no one was injured Wednesday evening after a fire broke out in a Glenview hotel.
Guests of the Courtyard by Marriott Chicago Glenview, at 1801 Milwaukee Avenue, said they were evacuated from the building about 5:30 p.m.
Glenview Battalion Fire Chief Jim Fancher said construction crews were working on a third floor balcony near the middle of the building and the fire was caused by a welding accident.
“They were welding some railings,” Fancher said, adding the windy conditions helped spread the fire. “It started as an exterior fire but the wind pushed the fire from the exterior landscaping to the attic.”
Outside the south side of the hotel were the charred remains of several small evergreen bushes and a large evergreen tree, which brought the fire up into the building.
Fancher said the hotel attic had a sprinkler system that was activated when the flames reached the sprinkler heads.
“For the most part (the system) held the fire in check,” Fancher said. “There is extensive smoke, fire and water damage to this wing of the hotel and structure damage to the roof.”
Prabhakar Milavarapu said he has been in the hotel for 10 days, and is scheduled for another 10 days, as he visits the country on a business trip. Milavarapu, who lives in India, said his room was on the first floor of the hotel.
Milavarapu said he smelled smoke and called the front desk, where hotel staff said they would look into it and get back to him. About five minutes later, he said an alarm went off. He said he grabbed the bag that had his passport in it and headed outdoors, where he waited in the parking lot with other guests as emergency responders put out the blaze.
He called his son, a student at UIC, from the parking lot to let him know he was OK.
Lynn Trumbore said she was in her third-floor room with her daughter, Rachel. The pair checked in Monday as Rachel gets ready to enter Northwestern University.
“I smelled smoke,” Lynn Trumbore said. “When I knew it was safe I opened the door. It was very smokey in the hallways and down in the middle of the hall I saw a construction worker.”
Lynn said the worker told her there was a fire outside and said to go back into the room and close the door.
The pair then went onto their balcony, where they saw a police officer in the parking lot. The officer told them to evacuate the hotel.
“We got out here by 5:30 and the crews were already here,” Lynn said.
By 6:30 p.m. guests were allowed back into the hotel lobby where staff was busy trying to move everyone to the other wing of the hotel. Police also began leading guests back into the fire-affected area to collect their belongings.
Fancher said management of the hotel needed to get the sprinkler and fire alarm systems back in service before anyone would be allowed to stay on that side of the hotel.
Estimated loss was $550,000.
In addition to the Glenview Fire Department, crews from Niles, Northbrook and Prospect Heights responded to assist.