After 10AM on Monday morning, the North Chicago Fire Department received reports of smoke coming from a building at the vacant Knights Inn Motel property, 2315 Greenbay Road.  The first arriving companies entered and found two fires. After attempting an interior fire attack, the ceiling began to give way and they backed out of the building and initiated a defensive attack. A MABAS Box Alarm was struck followed shortly by a 2nd Alarm, a 3rd Alarm roughly an hour later, and eventually one special alarm for relief companies. Departments responding to assist North Chicago were Lake Forest, Gurnee, and Highland Park with trucks, Newport, Deerfield, and Libertyville with squads, Winthrop Harbor, Waukegan, Great Lakes, Knollwood, Lake Bluff, Beach Park, Mundelein, Countryside, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods, and Grayslake with engines.

North Chicago vacant motel fire 9-12-11 arson

Multiple colors of smoke can be seen here as the fire begins to burn through the roof. Jeff Rudolph photo

North Chicago vacant motel fire 9-12-11 arson

Heavy smoke and fire blows out the front of the building which most recently housed a night club. Scott Lasker photo

Four aerials with master streams went to work along with multiple hand lines and multi-versals.

North Chicago vacant motel fire 9-12-11 arson

A company from Lake Bluff works a hand line into a side door. Jeff Rudolph photo

The Chicago Tribune reported the following information:

North Chicago firefighters will have to find a new place to practice after vandals set a fire this morning that destroyed a vacant building earmarked for fire training.

The fire department had recently received permission to use the building for training. But firefighters were called there for a real emergency shortly after 10 a.m. following a report of smoke coming from the shuttered hotel and restaurant at 2315 N. Green Bay Road, said fire department shift commander Dell Urban.

The complete article can be found HERE.

Jeff Rudolph, Scott Lasker, and Tim Olk went to the fire and submitted images.

North Chicago vacant motel fire 9-12-11 arson

The North Chicago tower ladder gets ready to go to work as firefighters hope to burn off some of the roof to allow access to the fire inside the building. Jeff Rudolph photo

Jeff Rudolph had the following description:

Companies responded to a smell of smoke in a vacant building. Companies found a small rubbish fire inside the rear portion of a vacant night club about 100′ x100′. Crews came back in with extingushers, but found a heavier body of fire on the other side of a wall and backed out to grab a hand line. The fire was fueled by foam and other highly combustible materials used in the nightclub, and when crews reentered they where forced out as the ceiling collapsed. Command requested a box that would go up to a third with a special for manpower. Most of the fire was knocked by elevated master streams provided by North Chicago,Lake Forest, Gurnee, and Highland Park. Plywood covered the inside of the front windows . Once the main body of the fire was knocked¬† an excavator was brought in to tear down the structure .
North Chicago vacant motel fire 9-12-11 arson

The Lake Forest tower ladder stands ready on Greenbay Road. Scott Lasker photo

 

North Chicago vacant motel fire 9-12-11 arson

Great Lakes Engine 1912 supplied master streams and hand lines from Greenbay Road. Tim Olk photo

North Chicago vacant motel fire 9-12-11 arson

Firefighters work from the bucket of North Chicago Tower 9. Tim Olk photo

North Chicago vacant motel fire 9-12-11 arson

Lake Bluff Engine 519 was also pumping. Jeff Rudolph photo

North Chicago vacant motel fire 9-12-11 arson

Gurnee's tower ladder was one of four aerials using elevated masters streams. Tim Olk photo

Newport Township FPD Squad 1455

Newport Squad 1455 sits staged down the street. Jeff Rudolph photo

Waukegan Fire Department  2011 KME engine

Waukegan responded with two engines, one was Engine 3 with their new KME. Jeff Rudolph photo

North Chicago vacant motel fire 9-12-11 arson

After the bulk of the fire has been extinguished, the Lake Forest and North Chicago tower ladders brought their buckets to street level and directed the streams in through the front windows. Tim Olk photo

North Chicago vacant motel fire 9-12-11 arson

After the fire was out, this view from a tower ladder basket shows the roof of the building and just how much remained intact. Multiple HVAC units remain precariously supported in place. Tim Olk photo

Tim Olk has a gallery of images HERE.

Jeff Rudolph has a gallery of images HERE.