Archive for June 10th, 2017

Winthrop Harbor Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

A former Winthrop Harbor firefighter was being held on $1 million bail Thursday on charges of aggravated arson and attempted murder of his 70-year-old aunt, whom he is accused of attempting to frame for arson fires in Winthrop Harbor and Pleasant Prairie.

Keith Kauppi, 28, of Winthrop Harbor was taken into custody after authorities say he confessed to starting a December fire at the home of his aunt, Kathleen Kauppi and another on June 3 where the aunt suffered mild to serious burns.

According to police, Kathleen Kauppi was arrested this week for an arson fire in Pleasant Prairie after her nephew set her up, but those charges were dropped Thursday by prosecutors after the nephew admitted to that fire as well.

According to Joel Brumlik, chief of the Winthrop Harbor Police Department, the arson fires were an attempt by Keith Kauppi to hide the fact he was forging checks from his aunt’s bank account. On Feb. 27, Brumlik said, Kauppi was terminated from his position at the Winthrop Harbor Fire Department by Fire Chief Justin Stried after police accused Kauppi in December of forging checks. His aunt refused to pursue charges against him at that time.

Brumlik added that it is believed the arson incidents “were an attempt by Kauppi to conceal these thefts by killing his aunt.” 

Last week, police report, the aunt had gone to her brother’s house to stay, and then there was a fire there. According to the Pleasant Prairie Police complaint, Kathleen Kauppi, 70, was sleeping on a couch in the living room on Sunday night when Kauppi’s nephew and parents were awakened by a loud crash.

According to police, the nephew told investigators he ran downstairs to see the couch where his aunt was sleeping was on fire. He told police he threw water on the fire, extinguishing it, and then he and his father carried the couch, a burned blanket and some burned clothing outside. Police report the nephew said the living room smelled of gasoline.

The complaint states a police officer on the scene could smell gasoline on the couch, on a burned blanket and on scorched clothing found outside. According to the complaint, the aunt told a police officer that she “was sleeping on the couch when somehow it started on fire.” It states that she yelled at her relatives “she did not start the fire and would never speak to them again.”

Brumlik said the nephew started trying to forge is aunt’s checks again this week, and he was brought in for a several-hour interrogation where he eventually confessed.

After the confession, he accompanied an investigator from Winthrop Harbor to the scene, and he explained where he had placed the gasoline, said Sgt. Chris Willets of the Winthrop Harbor Police Department.

thanks Dan

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East Dundee and Countryside Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the

A man found dead in a Dundee Township house fire had a gunshot wound, and authorities believe the blaze was started intentionally.

The man — who has not been identified because of extensive burns — and a dog were found dead early Wednesday in a fire that destroyed a house at 15N384 Richardson Drive, Kane County Sheriff’s Lt. Pat Gengler said.

An autopsy conducted Thursday determined a gunshot projectile was found inside the body.

The home was engulfed in flames when (East Dundee and Countryside Fire Protection District) firefighters arrived shortly before 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. Though firefighters were initially unable to enter the structure because of the intensity of the fire, the blaze was brought under control by 4:06 a.m. The man and dog were then found dead in the house.

Authorities are following a few different leads, though Gengler said the investigation has been difficult because the man’s identity is still unknown.

Anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity near the residence is asked to call the sheriff’s office at (630) 444-1103.

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New engines for Chicago (more)

From the E-ONE Hamburg Facebook page:

We took advantage of a sunny spring day to get this picture. Check out all 3 of the City of Chicago’s New E-ONE Stainless Steel Pumpers side by side! #eone#firetruck

new fire engines for the Chicago Fire Department

E-ONE photo

Check out the City of Chicago’s New E-ONE Stainless Steel Pumper! This is one of 3 pumpers recently delivered to Chicago. Each one has a Cyclone II X medium cab with 58? CA and 12? Vista, Cummins ISX12 450HP engine with EVS4000 transmission, Hale QTWO 1500 GPM two stage pump, 530 Gal “L” shaped water tank, and 30 gal foam tank. Thank you to the City of Chicago for choosing E-ONE!

new fire engine for the Chicago Fire Department

E-ONE photo

new fire engine for the Chicago Fire Department

E-ONE photo

new fire engine for the Chicago Fire Department

E-ONE photo

new fire engine for the Chicago Fire Department

E-ONE photo


Chicago Fire Department news

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Mike Vlasic from the City of Chicago Fleet and Facility Management who supervised CFD fleet maintenance and repair at the Throop Street facility. 

Mike Vlasic Chicago Fleet and Maintenance supervisor

Mike Vlasic Jun 21, 1968 – Jun 2, 2017 (Age 48)

Excerpts from the

A Chicago man died in Manhattan Township on Friday morning (6/2/17) in a single-vehicle motorcycle accident.

Michael Vlasic, 48, of Chicago, was pronounced dead at 9:40 a.m. on Friday after driving off the road near the corner of Manhattan Road and Cherry Hill Road in Manhattan Township.


Vlasic, Michael Devoted son of the late Marie (nee Pecharich) and the late Stanley “Stanko” Vlasic; cherished father of Cameron and Evan; former husband of Karen Kohout; loving brother of William, Daniel, Ronald (Allison), and the late MaryAnn Vlasic; dearest uncle of Lori (Jason) Kircheimer, Randy (Tracy), Christopher, Nicole, Steven and the late Justin and late Ashley; dear nephew, cousin and friend to many. Visitation Friday, June 9, 2017, 3:00-9:00 p.m. at Zarzycki Manor Chapels, Ltd., 8999 S. Archer Ave., Willow Springs. Funeral Saturday, June 10, 2017, 10:15 a.m. from the funeral home to the Church of St. Daniel the Prophet. Mass 11:30 a.m. 

Published in Chicago Sun-Times on June 7, 2017

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