Archive for July, 2011

Support for the 5-11 Club

This from Bill Kugelman:

As you may know, the 5-11 Club is engaged in a number of activities that are designed to provide direct and indirect support to the Chicago Fire and Police Departments and their members. They make available, the support vehicle that provides water, coffee, etc. to all the members of the Fire Department and the Police Department at various functions, and in particular, at many of the funerals for our fallen.
There is currently a program going on at Chili’s Restaurants where you can provide a coupon and 10% of what you spend will help the club out. Coupons can be obtained from their website

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Fox River & Countryside looks to a 3rd station

Dennis McGuire, Jr. found this Daily Herald article outlining long range planning on behalf of the Fox River and Countryside Fire Rescue District for a third station.

Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District officials are planning the construction of a third station just three months after the district took its first 911 call. And fire district President Jim Gaffney is in a convenient position to nab some free land to make that plan a success.

“We’re talking two to five years down the line,” Gaffney said. “But it seems as though the school district is receptive. We’re trying to save the taxpayers money. We want to use the taxpayers’ dollar in the most efficient way with an intergovernmental agreement. Really we’re talking about a piece of land that probably has no value in terms of building a new development out there. This is all just preliminary.

Indeed, the fire district is still in the process of finding a permanent home for its Station 2. Fox River and Countryside has a temporary station outside its coverage area in South Elgin. Gaffney said the fire district staff is “making progress” on the project.

The complete article can be found HERE.

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Bloomingdale has been added to the site

Bloomingdale Fire Protection District No. 1 headquarters fire station 1

Bloomingdale Fire Station 1 on Bloomingdale Road houses the fire department headquarters and the emergency dispatch center. Larry Shapiro photo

The Bloomingdale Fire Protection District No 1 in MABAS Division 12 has been added to the site. Bloomingdale has three stations though one is strictly used for storage. Station 2 at 6N480 Keeney Road (which has a Roselle address) was originally part of the Keeneyville Fire District. This station has two spare engines and an out-of-service ambulance which may be converted to a dive unit.

Bloomingdale Fire Department ambulance

This out-of-service ambulance might be converted into a newer dive unit to replace Dive 9 which is assigned a 1997 Freightliner FL50/Medtec. Larry Shapiro photo

Bloomingdale has their own dispatch center in the basement of Station 1 which serves Bloomingdale in addition to the Elk Grove Township Fire Protection District and theItasca Fire Protection District.

Bloomingdale runs a fleet of Pierce apparatus which includes a tower ladder and three engines on a Lance chassis, one engine on an Enforcer chassis, and an engine on a Quantum chassis. They have on order a 2,000-gallon pumper/tanker on a Velocity chassis which is due this year. The two in-service ambulances as well as the Dive Squad all feature boxes built by Horton.

Bloomingdale Fire Protection District Engine 1 Pierce Quantum

The newest engine in Bloomingdale is this 2005 Pierce Quantum assigned to Engine 1. John Tulipano photo

Prior to becoming a Pierce customer, Bloomingdale was exclusively a Pirsch customer for many years. In 1981, they received the last engine on a custom Pirsch chassis that matched two engines and a 1972 85′ mid-ship quint.

Bloomingdale Fire Protection District 1981 Pirsch custom pumper

In 1981, Bloomingdale Engine 2 featured the last custom cab built by hand at the Pirsch factory in Kenosha. From this point forward, Pirsch purchased stock cabs from Truck Cab Manufacturers (TCM) and applied a trim package to make their appearance unique to Pirsch products. Larry Shapiro collection

Bloomingdale Fire Protection District custom Pirsch mid-mount quint

Bloomingdale Truck 4 was built in 1972 to match one Pirsch engine already in the Bloomingdale fleet complete with the edge warning lights. They would later have a total of four matching custom Pirsch units. Larry Shapiro collection

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Summit is added to the site

Summit Fire Department patch

In MABAS Division 21, the Summit Fire Department covers 2.5 square miles plus a four-mile stretch of nearby highways. They operate out of one station with a full-time chief and deputy chief plus 48 part-time firefighters. Summit has three Pierce engines (one is an X-Bedford Park piece), they have two Medtec ambulances, a command car, a boat, and the MABAS Division 21 Fire Investigation Unit (an X-North Palos Osage ambulance).

MABAS Division 21 Fire Investigation Unit

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Glen Ellyn box alarm June 27, 2011

At roughly 4:40AM on the morning of June 27th, the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Department in MABAS Division 12 received a call from a homeowner in the 500 block of Dawes Avenue reporting his house was on fire.

Glen Ellyn house fire on Dawes June 27, 2011

Glen Ellyn firefighters arrived to find heavy fire blowing out of the front door at this house on Dawes Avenue. From the street, the house had two floors, but the story was different from the rear. Stephen Wilcox photo

Stephen Wilcox arrived as the first companies did and submitted information about the fire, commentary, plus several images.

500 block of Dawes, Glen Ellyn. 6/27/11 @ 0440 hours. This fire went to a MABAS box. The family self-evacated through the lower level rear double doors, they said. 

The Daily Herald reports that:

The homeowners were awakened by smoke detectors and escaped without injury, according to Craig Eldridge, spokesman for the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Company.

Glen Ellyn house fire on Dawes June 27, 2011

As seen from the 'B-C' corner, fire has taken over the basement and first floor rear. Stephen Wilcox photo

Stephen adds:

Going towards the rear, the escape window is on the right side of the shot and we begin to see the conditions in the rear (“C”). There is a double sliding glass door in the middle of the lower level; a deck goes all across the back of the house and fire has taken hold of this sector.

Glen Ellyn house fire on Dawes June 27, 2011

The rear of the house is fully involved. Stephen Wilcox photo

More from Stephen:

Our first look at the fire in the rear. Need I mention the absolute necessity of doing a 360° walk around the fire building at all fires. It is surely a different ballgame with the information visible here. The point of origin was between the steps on the right and the double door opening. A cooking pit had been used earlier and replaced, in that area along with three propane tanks. All the tanks exploded adding the initial energy to the
fire spread. The family is reported to have self evacuated through those double doors.
Glen Ellyn house fire on Dawes June 27, 2011

Firefighter use hand lines to knock the fire down. Stephen Wilcox photo

Also from Stephen:

Two and a half inch lines were used to knock this fire before the tower was brought into play to finish the job.
The fire is mostly under control by now. The water supply was lean. The water mains in the area are only four inch so it was necessary to control water usage. The tower had great placement to reach the roof-attic area. Both collapsed as did the second floor during this fight.
Glen Ellyn house fire on Dawes June 27, 2011

Fire still burns in the attic and through the roof as the first floor and basement areas have been knocked down. Stephen Wilcox photo

Glen Ellyn house fire on Dawes June 27, 2011

As the sun rises, the extent of the damage becomes clearly visible. Stephen Wilcox photo

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Detached garage fire in Long Grove 7-27-11

Long Grove Fire Department garage fire on Aptakisic July 27, 2011

Firefighters use a 2 1/2-inch line to wet down the remaining hot spots after the main fire had been knocked down. Larry Shapiro photo

The Long Grove Fire Department received several calls this afternoon reporting a garage fire at 16202 Aptakisic in Prairie View. Initially, conflicting reports were given as to whether or not the garage was attached to the house or detached, and it was unclear if the fire had spread to any nearby buildings.  One caller suggested that the homeowner might have been trapped inside the garage.

Long Grove Fire Department garage fire on Aptakisic July 27, 2011

The B-side of the garage was six feet from an in-ground swimming pool and roughly 25 feet from the house. Larry Shapiro photo

Long Grove Fire Department garage fire on Aptakisic July 27, 2011

Wheeling firefighters work on spot fires inside the garage. Larry Shapiro photo

This address represents an unincorporated section of Lake County which belongs to the Long Grove Fire Department but is also surrounded by Buffalo Grove and Lincolnshire.

Long Grove Fire Department garage fire on Aptakisic July 27, 2011

There were no fire hydrants on the north side of Aptakisic Road where the fire broke out so Long Grove Squad 55 dropped 1,500 feet of 5" hose. This allowed them to assist with supplying Buffalo Grove Engine 26 the first engine on the scene which was working off of tank water. Larry Shapiro photo

Long Grove Fire Department garage fire on Aptakisic July 27, 2011

Due to the proximity of their station, Buffalo Grove Engine 26 (217) was the first company on the scene. Larry Shapiro photo

Buffalo Grove Station 26 is located just over a mile from this address and when Engine 26 pulled out of their quarters they reported seeing a significant header. Units that responded to the scene include Long Grove Squad 55 and Tanker 55, Buffalo Grove Engine 26 and Quint 27, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Engine 51, Lake Zurich Engine 4, Libertyville Truck 461, Wheeling Engine 24, Countryside Ambulance 411, and a Barrington ambulance in addition to chief officers from Long Grove, Buffalo Grove, and Lincolnshire-Riverwoods.

Long Grove Fire Department garage fire on Aptakisic July 27, 2011

Temperatures were in the 80s and the humidity was high, so fire companies rotated between finishing off the hot spots and going through rehab. Here, Lake Zurich firefighters are on the line. Larry Shapiro photo

Long Grove Fire Department garage fire on Aptakisic July 27, 2011 KME engine

Long Grove Squad 55 responded to the fire on Aptakisic after picking up from a motor vehicle accident. Larry Shapiro photo


Long Grove Fire Department garage fire on Aptakisic July 27, 2011

Long Grove Tanker 55 was requested to the scene as a backup to provide additional water. Larry Shapiro photo

Larry Shapiro arrived after the fire was knocked down and submitted several images from the scene. A gallery with more images can be viewed HERE.

The Daily Herald has an article HERE.

This was not the first fire at this address in recent years. Firefighters responded to this address on December 31, 2009 for a fully involved car fire next to the house.

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Wheaton 2nd alarm fire 6-17-11

Wheaton house fire on Ellis 6-17-11

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke pushing out from the entire house on arrival. Stephen Wilcox photo

Stephen Wilcox has submitted images and information about yet another fire in western Dupage County (MABAS Division 12) that occurred last month. Here is what he had to say:

Wheaton Fire: 419 N. Ellis on 6/17/11 @ 0447 hours. The structure, circa 1900, balloon frame, lath & plaster, knob and tube wiring construction. Warm, humid conditions on arrival. Fire was located on all floors and in the attic. Neighbors told members they thought someone was still inside. The extra alarm covered these three items. Several handlines, six ground ladders were used. (Family was returning from the Far East.)


   #2 Ventilation started...    #9 Roof opened...    #12 2nd floor: VENT, ENTER, SEARCH    #15 The member is in for a quick search, return to ladder, move, repeat.    #27 Area of origin near the stairs facilitating fire spread.    #37 Members are picking up as the sun shines on a 20 story building, #1 Wheaton Center. Notice, (how can you miss) that first due truck 417 and the fireground is still dark.

A Wheaton firefighter ventilates windows on the side of the house as companies in front make entry. Stephen Wilcox photo

Wheaton house fire on Ellis 6/17/11 firefighters ventilate the roof

Wheaton Truck Company 417 goes to work opening the roof. Stephen Wilcox photo

Wheaton house fire on Ellis 6/17/11 firefighter vents window VENT, ENTER, SEARCH

A West Chicago firefighter on a ladder takes out a second floor window before he can perform a search. VENT, ENTER, SEARCH. Stephen Wilcox photo

Wheaton house fire on Ellis 6/17/11 firefighter entering window VENT ENTER SEARCH

After clearing the window, the firefighter enters the bedroom to perform a primary search for occupants. He made a quick search, came out, moved the ladder to the next window and repeated the operation. Stephen Wilcox photo


Wheaton house fire on Ellis 6/17/11

Members are picking up as the sun shines on a 20-story building, #1 Wheaton Center. Wheaton Truck 417 was the first-due truck to the fire. Stephen Wilcox photo

Wheaton house fire on Ellis 6/17/11 area of fire origin

The area of origin beneath the staircase facilitated the rapid fire spread. Stephen Wilcox photo

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Western Springs Station 2 set to open

The final touches are being applied to the new fire station for the Western Springs Fire Department in MABAS Division 10. Station 2 was mentioned HERE, and the photos below by Scott Peterson show that from the exterior everything is nearing completion. The station should be open roughly a month from now and will house two engines. Engine 1721 (formerly) Engine 1711, and Engine 1722 (formerly Engine 1712) will move into this station.

Western Springs Fire Department Station 2

Western Springs Station 2 has two bays and will house two engines. Scott Peterson photo


Western Springs Fire Department Station 2

The new fire station in Western Springs is located at 5501 Grand Avenue. Scott Peterson photo



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Winfield house fire 6-17-11

Stephen Wilcox submitted several images from a house fire last month at 1N180 Cypress Lane. He had the following comments:

This general alarm fire with a special was a two story frame. On arrival, The entire rear was on fire. The (Wheaton) truck went to the roof, while Winfield companies were in the front. Just like the book says.  I was a mile and half away when companies began arriving. I looked in that direction and saw a great header. By the time I arrived, there was no fire or header. Photos show the damage on the rear, exterior and interior. Great firefighting! 


Winfield Fire Protection District house fire 6-17-11 Cypress Lane

Firefighters perform overhaul. Stephen Wilcox photo

Winfield Fire Protection District house fire 6-17-11 Cypress Lane

The rear of the house sustained significant damage to the exterior. Stephen Wilcox photo


Winfield Fire Protection District house fire 6-17-11 Cypress Lane

Another shot showing firefighters overhauling the exterior. Stephen Wilcox photo

A Daily Herald article had this to say:

A Winfield family escaped unharmed Friday morning when fire struck their two-story house in an unincorporated area near Winfield and left the building uninhabitable. Firefighters said the blaze began just after 9 a.m. at the house on Cypress Lane. The first fire crews were on the scene in about two minutes, Winfield Chief Phil Dimenza said.


Winfield Fire Protection District house fire 6-17-11 Cypress Lane

The living room was gutted. Stephen Wilcox photo

Winfield Fire Protection District house fire 6-17-11 Cypress Lane

The kitchen encountered the heaviest fire. Stephen Wilcox photo


Winfield Fire Protection District house fire 6-17-11 Cypress Lane

Firefighters from Winfield wash down hot spots inside the house. Stephen Wilcox photo

The complete Daily Herald article is HERE.


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Several storm related fires

Lighting from the recent heavy thunderstorm activity was blamed for several area suburban fires. Glencoe, Deerfield, Mt. Prospect, Elgin, and Naperville all had fires during the overnight storms. Excerpts from the Chicago Tribune articles describe the fires.

Two house fires, in Glencoe and Deerfield, early Saturday morning appeared to be caused by lightning strikes from the heavy thunderstorms that passed through the Chicago area Saturday morning, and a third blaze at a Mt. Prospect apartment complex could also be lightning-related.

The Glencoe home in the 500 block of Lincoln Avenue was a “total loss” …

…  a Saturday morning fire that forced a Deerfield family from its home and resulted in one firefighter being hospitalized. The injured firefighter suffered chest pains and was taken to Highland Park Hospital and was in good condition … The Deerfield-Bannockburn Fire Protection District got a call about 2:01 a.m., arrived at the scene about three minutes later and had the fire out soon thereafter.

The Mt. Prospect fire, which drew firefighters from 16 different departments, was at the Colonial Green apartments, a 39-unit structure at 2024 W. Algonquin Road. The fire destroyed the attic and part of the third floor, (Mt. Prospect Fire Chief John) Malcolm said. All 75 of the building’s occupants got out of the building ..

Lightning also struck the steeple at Vineyard Christian Church, 200 Division St., in Elgin, Saturday morning, according to a news release from the Elgin Fire Department.

A lightning strike spawned by a severe thunderstorm started a fire that caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to a Naperville home but injured no one …

The compete articles can be found HERE and HERE which cover these fires in more detail.

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