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One injured in fire on roof of Writers Theatre's soon-to-be home

A fire Thursday damaged the roof of the new Writers Theatre facility under construction in Glencoe. | Network Video Productions

One person was injured in a fire Thursday that started on the roof of the new home Writers Theatre in north suburban Glencoe.

The fire, with heavy smoke, started about 3 p.m. at the construction site of Writers Theatre’s new home at 325 Tudor Place in Glencoe.

One person was taken to NorthShore University HealthSystem Highland Park Hospital for injuries related to smoke inhalation, according to village officials.


The building, only partially complete, was set to open at the end of 2015. The $34 million complex was designed by architect Jeanne Gang and her Studio Gang Architects.

“I imagine this will set them back somewhat, but they are early on in the construction phases and so we will be working with them to keep them moving forward,” said Phil Kiraly, Glencoe’s village manager.

“Though the cause of the fire is unknown at this time, potential damage appears to have been contained to a section of the building’s roof,” Writers Theatre spokeswoman Cathy Taylor said. “No other damage appears to have been done to the building or the surrounding buildings at this time.”

According to Michael Halberstam, artistic director of Glencoe-based Writers Theatre, construction workers, including the one taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, were back on the job Friday morning.

Halberstam explained that the fire was completely contained in a section of the building made of concrete. The intense smoke generated was due to the fact that the roofing material that caught fire was paraffin-based, or distilled from petroleum.

“In addition to the fire department of Glencoe, we had reinforcements from Glenview, Northfield, Northbrook and Winnetka, and the fire was extinguished within an hour,” said Halberstam.

Crews respond to a fire at the Writers Theatre, under construction in Glencoe. | Network Video Productions

“Some of the neighboring businesses were a bit concerned initially, but that was dispelled by the quick response to the fire,” said Halberstam. “And a bit of debris fell into the nearby playlot that is sure to be heavily trafficked this weekend, so that was cleaned up Friday morning.”

Meanwhile, Halberstam said the fire will have no effect on the project’s completion date. As planned, Writers will move into its new complex in December, with a gala opening planned for Feb. 2016.

Crews respond to a fire at the Writers Theatre, under construction in Glencoe. | Network Video Productions