Archive for December 20th, 2016

Elgin Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

Four people were rescued from a burning house early Tuesday morning in a blaze that left 10 people without a home in Elgin.

Amy Bishop was taking her husband to work when a fire started in their two sons’ bedroom around midnight. The boys, Lucas, 14, and Kyle, 12, woke up their sisters, Katrina, 19 and Lindsey, 16.

The girls ran back into their bedroom to get a phone to call 911 and were then trapped by the smoke and fire …  they couldn’t escape so they broke the windows.

Lt. Eric Gurke and Firefighter Guy Blando rescued the girls from the second floor windows. Heavy black smoke was rolling out of the second floor, according to Battalion Chief Terry Bruce.

The children were covered in soot, had smoke inhalation and frostbite, and were taken to Presence Saint Joseph Hospital. The girls had third degree burns but were doing well Tuesday evening.

The family was left without a home, clothing or anything else days before Christmas.

Bishop said the smoke detector did not go off and the apartment had only one exit. Another exit was nailed shut. They had several issues with the landlord including no hot water in the kitchen, and had stopped paying rent. The landlord took them to court and a judge ruled the best thing for everyone was to have the family move, she said. They planned to move out by Jan. 6.

“Honestly, we have nowhere to go. Our families all live out of state and the ones closest have a lot of kids and no space,” Bishop said. “I don’t know where to begin.”

Several family pets were killed in the fire at a house which was divided into two apartments.

Firefighters were called at 12:10 a.m. to the home in the 300 block of Division St. Before firefighters arrived, a downstairs neighbor went to notify the upstairs unit of the blaze and found two children at the top of the stairs. That neighbor took those children out.

The blaze was knocked down in 20 minutes, but the fire left the second floor with extensive fire damage to a rear bedroom plus heat and smoke damage throughout the second floor.

A total of 12 Elgin fire units worked the scene while city stations were temporarily manned by four area fire departments.

Donations are being accepted at Community United Methodist Church, 400 W. Spring St., South Elgin. A GoFundMe account has been set up at

“We are grateful for any help, we appreciate anything,” Bishop said. “My number one concern is a getting a roof over their head.”

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Fund to assist Frankfort lieutenant and his family

Excerpts from the

Many parents know this scenario: a child bumps his head, a lump appears. In the case of 9-year-old Brandon Otte of Shorewood, the lump didn’t disappear. A CT scan revealed an abnormality, a tumor above his left eye.

Brandon’s father is Jeff Otte a lieutenant/paramedic with the Frankfort Fire Protection District.

Brandon has Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), a rare cancer that causes an excess of white blood cells to accumulate in the body and form tumors, also known as lesions. He is the oldest of seven children.

The lump appeared in December 2015. Surgery to remove the lesion was scheduled for the end of January 2016. Since shortly before the surgery, Jeff has been caring for all seven children under age 10 on his own.

The children are Brandon, 9; Julie, 7; Natalie, 6; Emilie, 4; Callie, 3; and Noah, who has autism and is nonverbal, 2; and Benjamin, 16 months. Jeff said he doesn’t have much extended family except for his sister, Cindy McDorman of Galesburg.

After surgery, Brandon began 52 weeks of chemotherapy, which he will complete in early 2017. His spirits are great and his prognosis is good.

In April, the family faced another health scare. Cindy was diagnosed with a rare breast cancer. In May, she had a double mastectomy. But Cindy is now in remission and staying at the Otte home about one week each month.

Jeff said various groups have arranged Christmas presents and holiday activities to keep the season festive for the children. On Dec. 26, the family leaves for Disneyland in California, courtesy of the Make a Wish Foundation.

Jeff listed the rest of his support system: neighbors, staff at Troy School District 30-C, the Joliet Park District (where some of his children attend after-school activities) and even The Village Christian Church in Minooka – which Jeff said he and his family joined in September.

In August, Jeff created a GoFundMe page with a goal of $10,000. As of Thursday, the amount was raised was just $3,395.

Jeff said his main financial need is not money for medical bills but to pay his full-time and part-time nannies, so Jeff can continue working his job and keep the insurance for his kids.

A firefighter since 1998 in Crestwood, Jeff came to Frankfort in 2005.

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Alsip Fire Department history

This from Mike Summa:

These are pictures of Alsip’s 2 bumper-pumpers.  They are mid 1970s Ford/Darley?  Interesting in the pre-Seagrave era.  Feel free to add to any information,
Mike Summa
historic fire engine photo from Alsip IL

Vintage Alsip Fire Department fire engine. Mike Summa photo

Alsip fire department history

Vintage Alsip Fire Department fire engine. Mike Summa photo

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New engine for Downers Grove (more)

updated production photos from the Ferrara website of the new engine being built for Downers Grove

H-6042 Downers Grove, IL

Type: MVP Rescue Pumper
Chassis: Igniter custom chassis
Body: Extruded Aluminum
Pump: Waterous CSU 1250-2000 GPM
Tank: 500 gallon water

fire engine being built

Ferrara Fire Apparatus photo

fire engine being built

Ferrara Fire Apparatus photo

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