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Local

Update: Fire causes half million dollars' worth of damage to 3 'iconic' Sycamore businesses

SYCAMORE – Three businesses in Sycamore sustained damage after an early morning fire Thursday in the 100 block of East State Street in Sycamore caused half a million dollars worth of damage.

According to a news release from the Sycamore Fire Department, Sycamore firefighters responded to calls for a structure fire around 3:50 a.m. Thursday to 126 E. State Street, coming from State Street Laundry, a laundromat on the first level, adjacent to World Famous Pizza, 124 E. State St., and below the second-floor business, Spider Tattooz, owned by Sycamore Ward 4 Alderman Rick "Spider" Kramer.

"All those are pretty iconic places for Sycamore," said Sycamore Fire Chief Pete Polarek. "And so it's certainly sad. But the good thing is no one got hurt and certainly that’s a blessing."

Clean-up crews could be seen Thursday morning around 9 a.m. boarding up the windows of the street-level businesses and the front door of the tattoo parlor. State Street Laundry, Polarek said, is a total loss due to damage.

In a social media post on the Spider Tattooz Facebook page, the business announced it would be temporarily closing.

"Until I know more, I will be cancelling appointments as each week gets here if I need to," the post states.

"We don't know the depth of the damage to the structure itself, but there's significant heat and flame damage to the ceiling, the second floor flooring directly above the laundromat," Polarek said. "That laundromat is about a quarter of the whole building, half the first floor. So I would say that's a total loss."

When crews arrived to the scene Thursday, heavy fire and smoke was seen coming from the laundromat, and as firefighters went through both floors of the building to search for occupants to evacuate, other fire crews fought the flames for about 30 minutes before they were under control.

No injuries to residents or firefighters were reported, the release states.

The laundromat suffered heavy flame, heat and water damage, while Spider Tattooz on the second floor as a result suffered smoke damage. World Famous Pizza next to the laundromat also suffered water and smoke damage.

Polarek said the glass windows on the ground level businesses were also taken out to help vent the heat and let smoke out of the building. He said it's too early to tell how the resulting damage will impact the tattoo parlor and pizza place, but extensive cleaning will need to be done, along with interior repairs.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, though estimates of building damage fall at $500,000, the release states. Polarek said investigators have "a fair idea" of the cases, though they're not sharing that information yet.

Firefighters from DeKalb, Cortland, Genoa-Kingston, Elburn, Hampshire, Burlington, Malta, Maple Park, and crews from the Sycamore Public Works department and the Sycamore Police Department also assisted.

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