Archive for August 26th, 2017

Mount Prospect Fire Department news (more)

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A 92-year-old Mount Prospect resident who was rescued by firefighters in July during a house fire was able to thank them personally for their heroic efforts.

Doris Bjork, who is recovering at the Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights, met Lt. Ron Redlin and Firefighter Jon Schram on Aug. 15 and thanked them for pulling her out of her home through a second story window on July 18.

Crews received a call of a fire in the home in the 500 block of S. Main Street, south of the railroad tracks, at approximately 3:40 p.m. that day. When they arrived, firefighters were confronted with flames in the basement and Bjork calling for help from the second floor where smoke was rising up.

Firefighters were able to rescue her through a second-story bathroom window and transport her to the hospital. When Redlin and Schram pulled her out, she was unconscious.

Lambel said the department was notified that Bjork was at the Lutheran Home recovering. Deputy Chief John Dolan got in touch with her and arranged the reunion.

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Kankakee Fire Department news

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After 26 years of fighting fires in Kankakee, Damon Schuldt now is the city’s fire chief for the long haul.

The city council approved his appointment on a 13-1 vote, with Ald. Tyler Tall Sr. casting the only nay vote. Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, recited the oath for Schuldt, who has been in the fire industry for 33 years, having previously served five years on Milford’s department.

Schuldt had been the department’s interim chief since Phil Perkins retired at the end of April. The department has been without a permanent chief since Ron Young retired last November.

The city spent $19,500 to have the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association assist with a search. Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong interviewed another captain and Schuldt before making him interim chief. 

In his concluding comments, he praised his department.

“To all the men and women of the Kankakee Fire Department, I can tell you that you guys have one of the best fire departments in the state of Illinois and probably the nation,” he said. “I would stack them up against anybody for their courage, their dedication, the hourly training they put in and the customer service they provide.”

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East Moline Fire Department news

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A man was in custody Tuesday, accused of stealing an East Moline fire truck that nearly wound up in the Mississippi River during the incident. 

The theft happened about 4 p.m. when the man took the truck from East Moline as its crew was conducting a building inspection. The man then drove the truck to the intersection of 5th Street and 1st Avenue in Hampton.

The truck went off the road at that intersection and down the embankment toward the river, but did not get submerged in the water. The man then jumped into the river and tried to escape police. With the help of fire department rescue boats, police captured the man nearby. 

Police and fire personnel from East Moline, Moline, and Hampton all took part in dealing with the theft. 

East Moline Fire Chief Rob DeFrance, who was at the scene, said the truck would have to be inspected. The truck was valued about $375,000 when new, and was towed from the scene with no obvious damage to its upper structure other than some dents to the bumper and a metal step along its base.

East Moline has a reserve truck and put it into service once the problem arose. 

The fire truck was not running when it was taken. 

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Grayslake Fire Protection District news

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A teenager is in critical condition and three police officers were hospitalized Tuesday morning following a fire in  Grayslake, but an investigation into the fire has led to questions on its cause. 

The fire broke out just after midnight in the 300 block of Normandy Lane. The flames sparked at the rear of the home with heavy smoke filling the inside as a young boy became trapped.

Others inside the home made it out safely, but told officers at the scene a third person was still inside. A neighbor and three police officers rushed into the burning building to rescue the 17-year-old.

“The cops showed up and we tried getting in there with them and one of them finally just took a deep breath and went in,” said neighbor Brad Mohlman. “I kind of went in with them and stayed at the bottom of the stairs, he pulled [the boy] down from the top of the stairs. [The boy] was in rough shape, he wasn’t breathing right, he was gasping – it wasn’t good.”

Police said the boy was taken in critical condition to Advocate Condell Medical Center and was being transported to Loyola University Medical Center.

The officers who went inside the home were hospitalized for smoke inhalation but two were released Tuesday morning. The third officer was being held for observation but is expected to be OK. 

The fire had not been ruled a crime scene as of Tuesday morning, but some circumstances inside were not ordinary.

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Authorities investigating a Grayslake house fire this week announced two stunning developments Friday: that the teenage boy who was rescued from the blaze had been shot in the head, and that his grandmother took her life after police questioned her.

Police also said that the grandmother, who was the guardian of the boy, had directed another minor in her care to consume a bottle of prescription medication before the woman committed suicide.

Just hours after speaking with investigators Thursday afternoon, the teen’s grandmother, Deborah St. Antoine-Browne, jumped to her death from a parking garage outside Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where her grandson was being treated.

Before her death, St. Antoine-Browne gave the boy’s relative a bottle of prescription medication with instructions to take it all, Grayslake Police Chief Philip Perlini said, adding that police learned of the allegation from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. The relative had ingested some of the medication, but sought emergency medical help at the hospital.

After the fire, an investigation immediately ensued, and a .38-caliber pistol was recovered from the home. Perlini did not identify the shooter, but said there were no suspects from outside the home.

At the time of her death, St. Antoine-Browne also was being investigated in connection to an unrelated forgery case, though she had not been arrested in that case, and the prosecutor didn’t know if she had been aware of the investigation. 

St. Antoine-Browne was guardian to two minors in the home at the time of the fire, and they are now under DCFS care.

A combination of information led investigators to further interview the victim’s grandmother. Grayslake investigators spoke to her at about 2:15 p.m. Thursday at the hospital, took her statements, gathered her fingerprints, and DNA samples.

At 4:50 p.m., the Grayslake Police Department was notified by the Cook County Sheriff’s Department that St. Antoine-Browne had committed suicide at the Loyola Hospital parking garage.

thanks Scott

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