Archive for July 15th, 2019

EMS Interdivisional Box Alarm and Hazmat Box Alarm in Beach Park, 4-25-19 (more)

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A firefighter is the latest person to file a lawsuit over the Beach Park ammonia spill in April that sent more than 40 people to the hospital.

The 23-year-old firefighter said he has a severe and permanent disability from the spill. The lawsuit names the driver of the tractor carrying the ammonia and his employer, John Kevek Farms. It says the company did not train employees correctly or did enough to prevent the spill.

On April 25, a farm tractor was pulling a pair of two-ton tanks of anhydrous ammonia near Green Bay Road and 29th Street in Beach Park when the tanks started to leak, creating a dangerous plume.

Anhydrous ammonia is a colorless gas used as an agricultural fertilizer and industrial refrigerant. It gives off pungent, suffocating fumes, that can cause eye and throat irritation, chest pains, pulmonary swelling and even burns. It can be fatal if inhaled at high concentrations.

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Oglesby Fire Department news

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They had hoped to surprise him Friday with cheering crowds and a procession of dozens of fire engines from across Illinois. But after a long fight with cancer, Oglesby Firefighter Evan Knoblauch passed away Wednesday evening. He was 20.

The program Friday now will be held as a tribute, according to Oglesby fire chief Ron Popurella and Bonnie Prokup at St. Bede Academy, lead organizer for “Evan’s Friday night” at St. Bede. Popurella said a fire truck parade still planned. A candle vigil will be held at 7:40 p.m. at St. Bede following a Mass.

Though not yet certified by the state — Popurella said getting Knoblauch certified posthumously would be a top priority — Knoblauch had completed his primary training with distinction, reporting for class directly after receiving cancer treatments and with no regard for his pain.

Knoblauch quickly earned the respect of his brother firefighters despite his short service. Popurella noted Knoblauch’s last call was to a car accident on June 30, the same day he divulged his prognosis was terminal.

Prior to earning his dress blues, Knoblauch had been a standout student-athlete at St. Bede, which had planned an exhibition flag-football game in Knoblauch’s honor.

Oglesby residents, meanwhile, have honored Knoblauch’s courage with red porch lights that have remained illuminated over the many months he juggled treatments with his city service.

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Northern Illinois Fire Museum Fire Expo

Northern Illinois Fire Museum Fire Expo

click on the flyer to download it


Fatal fire in Elmhurst

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At about 9:30 p.m., on Friday, DuPage County sheriff’s deputies and the Elmhurst Fire Department responded to a house fire on Willow Road. Firefighters removed one woman and two males from the home. They were dead.

The investigation is ongoing and the identity of the deceased is being withheld until the cause and manner of their deaths are determined.

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