Fire damages bank in Geneva
By Linda Girardi For The Beacon-News October 24, 2012 10:38AM
Fire early Thursday morning damaged the State Bank of Geneva. | Linda Girardi~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 26, 2012 7:10AM
GENEVA — The State Bank of Geneva received major damage — and may be looking for a temporary new site in the wake of an early morning fire Wednesday.
Firefighters were dispatched at around 3 a.m. to the bank at 22 S. Fourth St. and found fire in the northwest corner of the two-story building, within the first-floor office of the bank’s senior lender.
The bank takes up about a one-quarter of the block and is adjacent to the Old Kane County Courthouse. No one was in the building and the fire did not spread to nearby buildings.
The fire was contained to the office on the first floor. “With that amount of smoke it took us time to make sure the fire did not spread,” Geneva Fire Chief Steve Olson said.
A cause of the fire is under investigation. Federal investigators were called to the scene.
The bank’s president and CEO, Lew Deal, said he was told there has been a “substantial” amount of smoke and water damage primarily on the first floor where customers do their banking in the lobby and service offices are located.
“I understand it was quite an intense fire,” he said.
The fire Wednesday occurred on a day when the bank is typically closed. Deal said a mobile banking unit will be established in the bank’s front parking lot on South Fourth Street.
“We will be able to transact normal business out of the mobile unit and online banking is unaffected,” Deal said.
“It may be several months before we can restore the building for use.”
Deal said the bank owns a building on the north side of West State Street that it can temporarily relocate to if needed.
The bank was built in 1978 and employs 27 people.
Deal said customer safety deposit boxes were “unscathed” and protected within the bank’s vault. Access to the safety deposit boxes likely will be available to customers in a few days.
“Nothing was affected whatsoever — banking statements are produced off-site and all customer records are done electronically and backed-up at an off-site location,” he said.
Deal said the computer system was tested and was intact.
“I don’t see any shortcomings for people to get information on accounts or other services,” he said. Online banking is available, as well, he said.
Fire departments from St. Charles, Batavia, Elburn, North Aurora, West Chicago, Winfield, Carol Stream and Sugar Grove assisted on the scene.