Second fire in 18 months hits Dino’s mart
By Dave Gathman email@example.com March 7, 2013 5:30PM
Elgin firefighters work at the scene of a roof fire in September 2011 that caused an estimated $400,000 damage to Dino's supermarket on Summit Street in Elgin. Another fire broke out at the store Wednesday night, causing an estimated $500,000 damage. | Su
Updated: April 9, 2013 11:48AM
ELGIN — Damage has been estimated at $500,00 after the Dino’s Foods supermarket was hit by its second major fire in less than two years.
Assistant Fire Chief Dave Schmidt said someone saw smoke inside the building, at 465 Summit St., at 11:04 p.m. Wednesday. When firefighters arrived two minutes later, smoke was puffing from all over the store.
“When you have this big a commercial structure filled with smoke, we enter very cautiously,” Schmidt said. “But thermal imaging cameras were able to show us the hot spots and allowed us to be sure we weren’t walking into a dangerously unstable environment, where a flashover or something was about to happen.”
Schmidt said the flames appeared to be confined to a rear part of the store and the fire was declared under control by 11:42 p.m. But by then, he said, smoke and the interruption of power probably had ruined all or most of the store’s perishable foods.
Elgin firefighters were joined at the scene by units from the Bartlett and Hoffman Estates fire departments while Algonquin, Carpentersville and Pingree Grove firefighters covered calls from other parts of Elgin.
“The cause of the fire is under investigation (by) investigators from the fire and police departments, as well as the Office of the State Fire Marshal,” Schmidt said Thursday night.
Fire also struck the rear of Dino’s on the afternoon of Sept. 7, 2011, causing $400,000 damage and closing down the store for half a year.
The 2011 blaze started on the roof of a detached secondary building, at the rear of the main supermarket, which holds compressors for the store’s refrigeration equipment. A roofer had been working there.
When it reopened a year ago this week, co-owner Vince Ventrella told The Courier-News that the first fire had led to a new beginning for the store and its staff.
“Now the store looks beautiful. It’s all changed around and we’re getting a lot of the ‘wow’ factor,” Ventrella said.
The company hired to rebuild the store at that time used Dino’s employees so they could earn wages working on the construction project until the store reopened. Ventrella said last March that adding a new bakery, a new hot-food section, an expanded produce department, new cash registers and a power-waxed ceramic floor, plus repairing the smoke and compressor damage, cost an estimated $1 million.