The Libertyville Fire Department responded to a reported fire at the Jamaican Gardens North located at 14595 W. Rockland Road (Route 176). First companies found heavy smoke obscuring visibility on Route 176 and had a significant fire burning on the east end of the property near what was the retail store entrance. An attack was initiated and the fire was upgraded to a MABAS Box Alarm.
The business had closed to the public several years ago and was reportedly vacant. Libertyville Tower 461 and Engine 463 were deployed on the eastern side of the property. The fast moving fire quickly spread to additional buildings on the west side, where access was limited. Lake Forest Tower Ladder 421 was positioned on the northern driveway and Countryside Engine 412 was at the northwest corner. As the fire grew in intensity, the alarm was upgraded to a 2nd Alarm bringing additional units to the scene.
A special request was made for the Division 1 MVU out of Wheeling, but the unit was not deployed and subsequently released before the box was struck out.
The two tower ladders deployed master streams in addition to multiple hand lines and two multi-versals. Along with Libertyville Engine 463 and the Countryside engine, Lake Bluff Engine 517 and Knollwood Engine 44 were also pumping. The fire was struck out after roughly three hours.
Other fire departments with companies at the scene were Mundelein, North Chicago, and Lake Zurich with ambulances, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods and Gurnee with rescue squads, Highland Park with a truck, plus Waukegan, Deerfield, and Newport Township with engines. Chief officers came from Countryside, Grayslake, Gurnee, Lake Bluff, and Lake Forest.
Tim Olk, Jeff Rudolph, and Larry Shapiro were at the scene.
This is the first in a three part series covering this fire.