A box-alarm fire struck the State Bank of Geneva, 22 S. Fourth St., a little after 3 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, causing extensive damage and bringing fire departments from throughout the area to the scene.
The structure fire officially was labeled a "box alarm" at around 3:34 a.m.
The fire was out well before 8 a.m., when the Wheeling Fire Department pulled in with heavy fans to clear air from the basement, sources on the scene said.
No adjacent structures were threatened, no one was inside the bank at the time of the fire and there were no injuries to fire personnel on the scene, according to a press release from the Geneva Fire Department.
Fire Chief Steve Olson said the fire started in a northwest corner bank office on the first floor. Heavy smoke was coming from that part of the building when firefighters arrived.
There is no estimate of damage at this time, and the fire is under investigation, Olson said.
Lew Deal, president of the State Bank of Geneva, was in the front parking lot as reporters arrived at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. "All things considered, it's not as bad as it might have been," he said. "There's smoke and water damage, but no one was hurt."
Deal said the bank's drive-through building, located to the west of the main office building, was not harmed by the fire, and he hoped to have the drive-through operational by noon. The drive-through is connected to the main building via an underground tunnel, and emergency crews were working to make sure electricity is running and access is safe.
"Right now, we're working to help them get their computers back online and get them reopened," Olson said.
Deal already had plans in motion for reopening the bank. He said a mobile unit has been called in that will be able to handle "all basic banking functions" that customers might expect from the main bank.
All of the bank's ATM machines are operational.
Rick Razum, vice president of business development for the State Bank, said customers could call the main line at 630-232-3200 for additional information. "Hopefully, we'll have a human answering, but we'll at least have a recorded message (by noon)," he said.
The bank employs 27 people. Deal said most or all would be needed to operate the mobile bank and the drive-through while building repairs are under way.
There are offices on the second floor of the bank that also will be affected by the fire. A quick Internet search indicates those businesses include Doug Summers Commercial Property Listings and the law offices of Petti Murphy & Associates.
Companies were able to confine the fire to the first floor of the bank, according to the Fire Department press release.
The Geneva Fire Department was assisted by mutual aid companies from the St. Charles, Batavia, Elburn, North Aurora, West Chicago, FermiLab, Winfield, Carol Stream, and Sugar Grove Fire Departments.
Olson said the department would conduct a standard fire investigation, which includes interviewing bank personnel and searching the building for debris that might help determine how the fire started.