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Extra-Alarm Blaze Destroys Part Of Gurnee Holiday Inn

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Firefighters in Gurnee battled an extra-alarm fire at a Holiday Inn undergoing renovations on Aug. 23, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

Firefighters in Gurnee battled an extra-alarm fire at a Holiday Inn undergoing renovations on Aug. 23, 2011. (Credit: CBS)

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Updated 08/23/11 – 6:53 a.m.

GURNEE, Ill. (CBS) – No one was hurt, but part of a Holiday Inn was destroyed in an extra-alarm fire in Gurnee Tuesday night.

As CBS 2’s Pamela Jones reports, the fire started at about 6:45 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at 6161 Grand Av. in Gurnee. By 7:45 p.m., firefighters had called in a 5th alarm for the fire, and the blaze was not fully extinguished for nearly four hours.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

The fire prompted major road closures and traffic tie-ups.

By the time the fire was out, more than 100 firefighters from several suburbs were fighting it.

Most of the damage was contained to a banquet hall at the hotel. That part of the building was a total loss, as the roof collapsed, making it dangerous for firefighters to get too close.

Firefighters said that a supervisor on the renovation noticed smoke, but couldn’t call 911 because his cell phone wasn’t working.

Firefighters started working from the ground, but when the roof collapsed, they started attacking the blaze from aerial ladders.

There were no injuries reported as the Holiday Inn was undergoing renovations at the time, being slated to reopen later in the year under new owners. Thus, the hotel was not occupied by any guests.

The part of the complex containing guest rooms was saved.

“The banquet portion is a total loss, but we were able to stop the fire from progessing to the hotel portion,” said Gurnee Fire Battalion Chief Tim Tanner.

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