The Palatine Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at the Township Center at 721 S. Quentin Road Thursday morning.
“I saw smoke and I just thought, I’m getting out and here and making sure everyone gets out with me,” said Palatine Township Administrator, Paul Pioch. In the meeting room, next to the food pantry Pioch said there was a cloud of smoke at the top of the ceiling about six inches deep.
When the smoke alarms sounded, about 40 people were evacuated, including the children at the daycare center.
According to Pioch the fire department was on the scene within minutes. Pioch said, “They had a bunch of people here, made sure it was secure.”
Pioch said the cause of the smoke is currently being investigated. “We think [it was] something with one of the furnaces that set off the smoke alarm,” said Pioch.
A utility closet in the back of the meeting room houses three furnaces. Pioch said he believes this morning was the first time one of those furnaces had been turned on since last winter.
Pioch said he did not know how old those furnaces are: “We have lots of air condition units and furnaces in the building, all at different stages of being replaced,” Pioch said.
Around noon on Thursday a repair company was looking over the furnaces in the building, Pioch said he’s still waiting to hear what caused the problem and what if any repairs need to be made.
After the fire department checked out the building and cleared all of the smoke out, everyone went back inside.
“We all just stood outside, it probably felt a lot longer than was it was,” Pioch said, “I’m just glad it wasn’t winter with snow on the ground.” While some employees sat in their cars, Pioch said the children were given blankets to keep warm while they waited outside.