August 12, 2013

You Mean Vodka Burns?

Photo: Chicago Sun-Times
A crash last week in Highland Park, Illinois, revealed a hazard I hadn't considered before. Usually, I'd be focused on someone getting hurt due to direct impact with a vehicle as it crashes into a building. In this instance, the lurking threat came from what was stored inside.

Binny's Beverage Depot was stocked full of vodka, gin and similar products when a woman crashed her BMW through a display window, igniting a fire in the process. A Binny's employee reportedly rescued the driver from her burning car.

“We all heard the impact and the fire started immediately,” the store manager told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It was extremely intense and there was a lot of smoke.”

Highland Park Fire Chief Patrick Tanner credited the store's fire sprinklers for preventing an even bigger tragedy. “It’s a great testimony to the sprinkler system here because there were 100 boxes of alcohol she hit,” he told the paper. “That could really get going (on fire).”

WLS-TV reported that the 84-year-old driver 'was behind the wheel of her BMW, winding her way through the parking lot...when she lost control, jumping a curb and crashing into the [store].'

Chicago Sun-Times video link | WLS-TV video link

1 comment:

Unknown said...


I do not know how to post a photo along with this comment, but I have a shot of the car and the store after the fire. Pretty smokey stuff it turns out. People often forget that aside from obvious crash damage and injuries, severe structural damage and fire is not uncommon in these accidents.

Thanks for all the hard work!

Rob Reiter

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