A fire damaged the Dairy Queen on College Ave. in July 2012. Owners are now renovating the building and plan to reopen this spring as a DQ Grill and Chill. (Stephanie Pawlowski/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
NORMAL - The Normal Fire Department used last year's fire at Dairy Queen on College Ave. as a lesson for other restaurant owners.
Chief Mick Humer said after the July fire, the public education officer made signs and training information for each restaurant in town about what to do in the event of a kitchen fire.
"I hate to say that there were some mistakes made, but the ansul system was not pulled right away," Humer said. "People are kind of shy to pull the system, they would like to just put it out on their own and not have to dump that system."
The ansul system is a restaurant fire suppression system.
"And it does a lot more than just dump the chemical to put the fire out, it also shuts off the gas and electricity when you pull that handle, so we wanted to make sure that everybody was aware of that."
Humer said signage was posted in every restaurant in English and Spanish.
ISU Greek community fire safety
In the 2012 annual report released Monday, Humer also said the department is making progress on helping fraternities and sororities on the Illinois State campus come up to fire code.
By state law, all Greek Housing has to be fire sprinkler protected by 2019. Humer said so far, half the ISU sororities have installed sprinklers along with one fraternity, the Delta Sigma Phi house, which was damaged by fire two years ago.
"And then the Phi Kappa Alpha House is also partially sprinkled at Hovey and Main Street, but none of the other fraternities have retrofitted those buildings yet, but they do have until 2019 to do it," Humer said.
The organizations have to fund the upgrade, but the department is keeping track of progress.
Humer said one more sorority will be retrofitted this summer. There are more than 25 Greek organizations on the ISU campus.