Archive for November 21st, 2018

Winthrop Harbor Fire Department news

Excerpts from the

A Sunday morning fire caused extensive smoke and heat damage to Pinsters Bowl in Zion, but apparently burned out before firefighters responded, Winthrop Harbor Deputy Chief Bill Beetschen said.

The fire spread throughout the first floor of the bowling alley at 1646 Sheridan Road, but appeared to run out of flammable material and stop burning even though the business was not equipped with sprinklers. Employees discovered the fire after arriving shortly before 10 a.m. to open the bowling alley for business.

Firefighters received the call at 9:49 a.m. and arrived within three minutes to find heavy smoke and excessive heat coming from the building. Within an hour, firefighters determined the fire was extinguished, but by then it had spread throughout the first floor and caused heavy charring.

 The exact cause of the blaze was not yet known Sunday.

Firefighters assisted from Zion, Newport Township, Beach Park, Waukegan, Gurnee, and Pleasant Prairie, WI.

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Shooting at Mercy Hospital, 11-19-18 (more)

Excerpts from the

Long before he opened fire at Mercy Hospital, Juan Lopez had a documented history of abusive behavior that he sometimes backed up with a gun.

While a trainee at the Chicago Fire Department Academy nearly five years ago, Lopez faced dismissal after being accused of aggressive and improper conduct toward women, according to the department. At some point, Lopez stopped showing up at the academy and was fired for abandoning his duties. He was never assigned to a firehouse as a firefighter or paramedic. It was during the disciplinary process that Lopez made the remarks about shooting up the academy. But they were never documented in internal records.

“If I get fired, I’m going to shoot this f—— place up,” he said, according to a firefighter who heard him. Department sources said they were aware of his remarks, but nothing was placed in his file.

It was during the disciplinary process that Lopez made the remarks about shooting up the academy. But they were never documented in internal records.

Later in the year, Lopez’s wife went to court for an order of protection, contending he had chased after a neighbor with a gun and had threatened to come to her workplace and “cause a scene,” according to court records. The order was soon terminated and no charges were filed against Lopez. A police spokesman said the incident was not reported to police.

In fact, Lopez had no criminal record when he walked across the parking lot of Mercy Hospital & Medical Center on Monday afternoon and confronted his former fiancee, Dr. Tamara O’Neal, who worked in the emergency room.

He wanted his engagement ring back and they began to argue. O’Neal called 911 and Lopez pulled out a gun and fired. She fell and he stood over her and fired again. He then shot Chicago police Officer Samuel Jimenez as he arrived on the scene and pharmacist Dayna Less as she exited an elevator before turning the gun on himself. All four died.

O’Neal’s family said she had called off the engagement just weeks before.

Lopez also had a volatile relationship with his former wife. In seeking an emergency protection order back in 2014, she described behavior by Lopez that caused her much anxiety and fear. A judge issued the protection order, but it was terminated about two weeks later. The couple divorced in 2015 after about seven years of marriage. In the divorce papers, the former wife accused Lopez of constant infidelity and abuse.

Lopez maintained a job as a security guard in at least three different locations, including two hospitals. From 2008 to 2013, he was employed as an unarmed security officer at DePaul University. He also worked as a guard at Ingalls Memorial Hospital in south suburban Harvey and Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. He was licensed by the state to work as a security guard in the mid-2000s, but his permanent employee registration card lapsed in 2009 and was not renewed. According to state records, he was never licensed by the state to carry a firearm while working security.

Most recently, Lopez worked for the Chicago Housing Authority, where he was hired in February 2018 as an associate program specialist. The CHA said in a statement he was hired “after undergoing the usual background checks. There is no history of complaints about him during the course of his employment at CHA.”

Lopez held a valid firearm owner’s identification card and a concealed carry license. He had bought at least four guns in the past five years. Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives searched his Northwest Side home after the shooting and began tracing his weapons.


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New ambulance for Coal City

From the Life Line Emergency Vehicles website:

2018 Ford F450 4WD/Life Line Superliner Type I

Coal City FPD Ambulance 3124

Life Line Emergency Vehicles photo

Coal City FPD Ambulance 3124

Life Line Emergency Vehicles photo

new ambulance interior

Life Line Emergency Vehicles photo

thanks Martin

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Hampshire Fire Protection District news (more)

Excerpts from the

With the approval of a referendum to set a tax rate that would add $236,000 to the Hampshire Fire Protection District’s budget, officials are looking to add staff and replace outdated vehicles.

Deputy Fire Chief Trevor Herrmann said the district has taken more than 1,200 calls this year, about 200 of which occurred when the crew was handling multiple calls at once. With the referendum’s passage, the district will increase its personnel levels from four firefighter/paramedics to five every shift starting June 1.

The district will be looking to add between three and five new crew members.

Any revenue left over will go toward the replacement of one of the district’s ambulances and fire engines. The district’s secondary ambulance is 11 years old, while its secondary fire engine is 21 years old.

These investments will not come without a cost to taxpayers. For the owner of a $200,000 home, the new tax rate would amount to an estimated $67 increase in the fire district’s portion of his or her property tax bill. The referendum narrowly advanced in the primary election, winning by a margin of only three votes, 552-549. It then received about 52 percent of the vote in the Nov. 6 election.

Leading up to the election, School District 300 put its support behind the referendum because of its strong partnership with the fire protection district and the reliability it has shown to students and staff.


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