A fire last week at the Winnetka Community House fitness center was apparently caused when towels in a fitness center dryer caught fire, Community House and fire department officials said Tuesday. The fire shut down the fitness center for several days, Winnetka Fire Chief Alan Berkowsky said, and parts of the building at 620 Lincoln Ave. sustained water and smoke damage. However, the blaze was contained in the laundry room and fitness center area, largely thanks to the building’s sprinkler system, he said.
“The sprinklers kind of held it in check until we got there,” he said. “The system did its job, which I think was what made a difference in saving the building.” Paramedics took a maintenance worker who discovered the fire to Evanston Hospital for observation after he was briefly overcome by smoke inhalation, Berkowsky said. Bob Thomas, Community House executive director and president, said the fitness center is expected to reopen Wednesday. He also said the maintenance man, who attempted to put the fire out with an extinguisher, is doing well. Berkowsky said Wilmette, Glencoe, Northbrook, Northfield, and Highland Park personnel assisted in putting out the fire.