(ISLAND LAKE) Authorities are investigating after a two-alarm fire caused heavy damage to a Sikh temple Tuesday night in northwest suburban Island Lake.
Firefighters responding to a fire alarm about 8:25 p.m. at the Guru Nanak Sikh Mission, 217 W. State Rd. in Island Lake, saw smoke billowing and found a fire in the lower level of the building, according to officials with the Wauconda Fire Protection District.
The blaze was upgraded to a two-alarm fire and it was eventually extinguished from the outside via handlines and aerial master streams, fire officials said. Attempts at extinguishing the blaze from the inside were unsuccessful due to unsafe conditions caused by hidden fire in the walls and the floors above.
Wauconda Fire Chief David Dato told reporters at the scene that the Sikh temple was a “very, very old structure.”
No one was believed to be in the building at the time of the fire and no one was injured, fire officials said.
“It’s very sad news for us, our church is burning,” Pastor Baba Daljit Singh told reporters at the scene.
“It’s not burning, I feel I am burning inside,” he said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the Illinois State Fire Marshal.
The Wauconda Fire Protection District was assisted by firefighters from Lake Zurich, Cary, Nunda, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, McHenry, Round Lake, Wonder Lake, Grayslake, Lake Villa, Barrington Countryside, Long Grove, Countryside, Woodstock, Marengo and the MESS Canteen.