SYCAMORE – A bush fire along Peace Road in Sycamore caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to a hotel and injured one person late Thursday, according to the Sycamore Fire Department.
Just before midnight Thursday, the Sycamore Fire Department was dispatched for a bush reported on fire next to the Quality Inn hotel at 1475 S. Peace Road in Sycamore, according to a fire department news release.
Acting Sycamore Fire Chief Bart Gilmore – who runs the department after former Sycamore Fire Chief Carl Reina resigned last week following two months on the job – said “three or four sizable bushes” were on fire when crews arrived at the scene.
The fire was brought under control within five minutes after firefighters arrived. Crews remained on the scene for about an hour, however, to ventilate the building.
Gilmore said the response was aided by swift action from several witnesses who used fire extinguishers.
“Especially considering potential for wind and mulch that could be around, they just have to be very cautious and make sure they completely extinguish any kind of smoking material.”— Sycamore Acting Fire Chief Bart Gilmore
“Police hit it with an extinguisher. I believe some [hotel] employees also fired some extinguishers on it. We put it out with a hose line,” Gilmore said.
One person suffered cuts to their arm, was treated by paramedics at the scene and refused hospital transport, according to the release. Gilmore said he wasn’t aware of how the person was injured during the fire.
Officials estimated that the hotel incurred about $30,000 worth of damage, according to the release.
Two Sycamore fire engines responded, and the department issued a recall of off-duty personnel to return for other community response needs.
Gilmore said a fire investigator Thursday night determined that the incident was caused by discarded smoking material.
Gilmore said it’s “extremely” important smokers discard cigarette butts and other smoking material in safe, designated places.
“Especially considering the potential for wind and mulch that could be around, they just have to be very cautious and make sure they completely extinguish any kind of smoking material,” Gilmore said.