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Fire Investigation Continues, CFD Praised

By Sam Bakken in News on Dec 9, 2004 9:28PM

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire at the LaSalle National Bank Building on Monday night. Check out Alice Maggio's column over at Gapers Block for some history on the building.

12_2004_cfd.jpgWith zero fatalities in the fire and no incredibly serious injuries (the last four people hospitalized with injuries from the fire will be released today), many are praising the CFD's performance.

City officials say changes made to resolve problems pointed out in the department's handling of the fire at 69 West Washington were visible Monday night. LaSalle Bank ran ads in a number of local papers thanking firefighters, police, paramedics and others that helped with the fire.

But they didn't thank the Scientologists that arrived at the scene. One fire chaplain said they just got in the way. But apparently the Scientologists are planning to keep it up.

David Klarich, one of the Scientologists at Monday night's blaze, said the church is planning on regularly showing up at fires and other disasters in the region to offer an "assist" -- special techniques they use to aid the injured or traumatized.

We're not quite sure what an "assist" is, but it probably involves asking for money and reading science fiction.

In other fire news:

  • LaSalle Bank officials say part of their 4,500-piece photography collection ("one of the oldest and largest in the corporate world") was kept on the 29th floor and they're worried it may have been damaged.

  • If you're a vandal that enjoys opening fire hydrants (it always makes a great photo), the city is spending $3.65 million to stop you by putting special locks on the hydrants opened most often in the city.