The Wheeling Fire Department received a call around 2:30AM from a townhouse resident reporting smoke in their building on Fall Court in the Cedar Run development. The building houses four units, two of which were vacant at the time. Wheeling Police arrived on the scene and reported flames visible on the west side of the building. The alarm was upgraded to a Code 4 working fire prior to companies arriving on the scene, which added units from Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, and Long Grove.

Wheeling Fire Department townhouse fire 8-22-11 Fall Court

A firefighter prepares to enter the second floor unit on Fall Court in Wheeling after the fire was knocked down. Larry Shapiro photo

Engine 24 was the first fire unit on the scene and pulled into the dead-end court. Engine 23 arrived and took a hydrant to supply Engine 24. The fire unit, which was in foreclosure, was a second floor unit with a private entrance with stairs on the west side of the building. Firefighters knocked down the initial fire in the doorway and attempted to enter the foyer to get upstairs but had to retreat as the stairs were burned through. They entered the second floor from a ground ladder and hit the remaining fire noting that an area of the kitchen floor had been compromised and there was still fire beneath the floor.

Wheeling Fire Department townhouse fire 8-22-11 Fall Court

Buffalo Grove firefighters force the door to a neighboring unit in the same building as the fire. Larry Shapiro photo

Wheeling Fire Department townhouse fire 8-22-11 Fall Court

Wheeling firefighters cut through the overhead door to gain access to the garage. Larry Shapiro photo

The alarm was elevated to a Box Alarm when all of the companies were working and there was a fear that fire was running the outside wall and might involve the common attic space. Additional units responded from Deerfield, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods, Palatine, Northbrook, and Prospect Heights, but these units were released soon after they arrived on the scene as the fire did not spread beyond the initial unit.

Wheeling Fire Department townhouse fire 8-22-11 Fall Court

Firefighters were forced to access the second floor unit from a ground ladder as the stairway was compromised. Larry Shapiro photo

Larry Shapiro went to the scene and arrived shortly after the bulk of the fire had been extinguished. He submitted several images and has a gallery with more photos HERE.

Wheeling Fire Department townhouse fire 8-22-11 Fall Court

Wheeling Engine 24 was the first unit on the scene and setup in the 'A' Sector. Larry Shapiro photo

 

Wheeling Fire Department townhouse fire 8-22-11 Fall Court

Engine 23 took a hydrant at the end of the court and laid a supply line to Engine 24. Larry Shapiro photo

 

Wheeling Fire Department townhouse fire 8-22-11 Fall Court

The fire burned the stairway which was the only access to the second floor unit from the ground. Larry Shapiro photo

 

Wheeling Fire Department townhouse fire 8-22-11 Fall Court

The fire reportedly originated in a wall between the garage and the front entryway. Larry Shapiro photo

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