HomeRenters Insurance$1M damage estimate for storage facility fire in Algonquin as renters await...

$1M damage estimate for storage facility fire in Algonquin as renters await word – Insurance News

Damage to an Algonquin storage facility and its contents could reach $1 million or more following a fire there Sunday, but tenants of Life Storage may have to wait for details on whether their possessions were damaged in the blaze.

Investigators were still working to determine the cause and extent of the fire at Life Storage, 2301 W. Algonquin Road, Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire District Deputy Chief John Knebl said Monday. That investigation includes going through surveillance footage of the site, which is tucked in behind a Thornton’s gas station.

Firefighters were called to the building at 2:45 p.m. Sunday for the report of black smoke coming from a row of units, Battalion Chief Chris Bremner said. They found a working fire in a unit and “could see visible flames in a unit with the door open, and it had spread to subsequent units.”

Crews had to force doors open on some of the units to get to the spreading flames, and pulled contents out to stop the fire from consuming more materials, Bremner said.

Officials had initially estimated the number of affected units to be 20, but that was raised to 25 to 35 on Monday.

The outdoor storage facility does not have sprinklers, Knebl said, adding that an outdoor facility is not required to have a sprinkler system or other fire suppression equipment.

He said damages would be hard to estimate, as things like cars and antiques were among items in the burned units.

On Monday, the company was waiting on the all clear from fire investigators to go into the affected area, said a spokeswoman from Life Storage’s corporate owners, Utah-based Extra Space Storage.

“It is really early and we won’t be allowed on the property until it is cleared by authorities,” she said. “We will coordinate (with tenants) but there might be a delay.”

Once fire investigators have cleared them to reenter the area, Life Storage officials will reach out to tenants via email first, she added.

The company understands that not being able to get into their units to determine damage “makes people nervous. It makes us nervous too. But we have not been able to get on the property yet,” she said.

“We will coordinate (with tenants) but there might be a delay.”

Life Storage corporate spokeswoman

The storage facility opened in 2016 with five buildings covering 73,000 square feet and 555 units. The affected units were all in the row where the fire is believed to have started. Still, all of the outdoor units are cordoned off until the investigation is complete.

The office and building it is in are still open to customers, she added.

The Life Storage spokeswoman also noted that 80% to 90% of their customers purchase the insurance offered by the company for their belongings.

“They can choose to waive the insurance, but we don’t recommend that,” she said.

Rental and homeowners insurance – for those who have it – should also cover destroyed property, said Brad Kirk of Ted Orzehoskie State Farm agency in Crystal Lake, adding that is standard in the insurance industry.

However, cars stored in units would only be covered if their insurance policies are up to date, unless they can prove negligence on the owner’s part.

“In Illinois, insurance follows the car,” Kirk said.

If tenants paid for both the extra insurance through Life Storage and had coverage through their homeowners or renters insurance, the companies would likely split any payout, he Kirk added.

There are cases where insurance might not cover a unit – like if the fire is determined to have come from one where prohibited items were stored.

While the cause of Sunday’s fire remains under investigation, Life Storage does have a long list of combustible, flammable, hazardous and toxic materials that are not allowed in their buildings, including gasoline, propane tanks, kerosene, lamp and motor oil, grease and fertilizer, among others.

Firefighters from Huntley, Carpentersville, Cary, Woodstock, Fox River Grove and Rutland-Dundee districts aided on the scene, with crews from West Dundee and Barrington Countryside districts covering quarters during the fire. Crews remained on the scene checking for hot spots until about 7:50 p.m., Bremner said.

Source link

latest articles

explore more