Archive for January 27th, 2022

Fatal fire in Des Plaines, 1-27-21 (more)

Excerpts from the

A blaze that killed a Des Plaines woman and her four children one year ago was caused by two electrical cords that had been improperly altered and connected. One cord was part of a space heater that had been the focus of the investigation from the start. The other was a heavy-duty extension cord plugged into a wall outlet. The space heater was inside the family’s second-floor apartment near a stairway. The extension cord was plugged into an outlet in the kitchen.

The fire occurred in the apartment building on the 700 block of West Oakton Street. The building originally was a single-family house but had been converted into apartments. Killed in the Jan. 27, 2021, blaze were Cithlaly Zamudio, 25, and daughters Renata Espinosa, 6, Genesis Espinosa, 5, Allison Espinosa, 3, and Grace Espinosa, 1.

The fire, which began about 10 a.m., trapped the victims inside because there was no safe exit other than the stairs. Two other occupants of the building got out safely with help from police and a passerby.

Forensic electrical engineers hired by an insurance company and an attorney for the family’s estate examined the building and debris inside in June as part of their investigations. They concluded the spliced cords caused the fire. As manufactured, the male end of the heater’s electrical cord and the female end of the extension cord didn’t match. The ends had been cut off so the wires inside the cords could be spliced.

The resulting electrical flash could be seen in surveillance video from a Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago facility across the street from the family’s home.

Strings of Christmas lights inside the apartment were improperly wired to each other, too, but they likely weren’t to blame for the fire.

The building where the fire occurred remains unoccupied and boarded up.


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House fire in Prospect Heights, 1-26-22

From the Prospect Heights Fire District:


January 26, 2022

PROSPECT HEIGHTS —Wednesday, January 26 at 7:48 p.m. the Prospect Heights Fire Protection District was dispatched to a reported fire at 108 Patricia in Prospect Heights.  

Upon arrival, a two-story home was found to have fire in the attic. Heavy smoke was coming from all eaves of the roof, and no fire had spread into the home’s interior.  Within a few minutes of their arrival, the first engine had a hose stream on the fire and extinguished the original fire. Efforts were then focused on the fire spreading in the roof and attic. Simultaneous with this, a search was made of the home to ensure everyone was outside. The fire was brought under control and extinguished within 20 minutes of arrival using two hose lines and more than a dozen fire apparatus. Approximately 40 firefighters composed the response force. Firefighters spent nearly one hour checking for hot spots and fire spread to ensure the fire was completely out.

A total of five engines, five water tankers, two aerial trucks, two ambulances, one rescue squad, and several chief officers were at the scene. Besides the Prospect Heights Fire Protection District and Wheeling Fire Department that were initially dispatched, assistance was provided by Des Plaines, Glenview, Mount Prospect, and Libertyville fire departments; the Elk Grove Township, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods, and Long Grove fire protection districts.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Prospect Heights Fire Protections District reminds everyone to always have two ways to escape from their home, to ensure smoke alarms are present and working, and to develop an emergency plan should their home be destroyed by a fire or other disaster.

Fire sprinklers save lives and property. Had this structure been equipped with fire sprinklers, the original fire would have been extinguished prior to the arrival of the fire department or at the worst, contained to the single room where it had started.

#larryshapiro;; #firescene; #ProspectHeightsFPD; #firefightersatwork

Larry Shapiro photo

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New truck for Frankfort FPD (more)

From Bill Schreiber

Frankfort Truck 72 update

#rosenbaueramerica; #BigRedR;; #FrankfortFPD; #RosenbauerViper; #RosenbauerCommander;

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House fire in Wheeling, 1-26-22

This from Larry Shapiro:

The Wheeling Fire Department received a call reporting fire in a house at 40 Versailles Court just before 8:30 PM Wednesday evening (1/26/22). The initial assignment was Glencoe Squad 30, Des Plaines Engine 61, Buffalo Grove Tower 25, Lincolnshire-Riverwoods FPD Battalion 51, Mount Prospect Battalion 3, Arlington Heights Ambulance 2, Wheeling Squad 24 and both Wheeling ambulances. The balance of  the Wheeling companies including chief officers were at a house fire in neighboring Prospect Heights just over a mile away. Prospect Heights units would also have been due on the initial alarm with Wheeling companies. Des Plaines and Glencoe responded from Wheeling stations where they were providing coverage.

As the fire in Prospect Heights was winding down, command at that incident released a Wheeling engine, Wheeling chief officers, and Lincolnshire-Riverwoods Squad 51 to take in the Wheeling fire. Squad 24 was the first to arrive and initially reported nothing showing. After approaching the home on foot, they noted that the house was full of smoke and made the hydrant in the cul-de-sac. The alarm was upgraded to a Working Fire which added Mount Prospect Engine 14 and North Maine Engine 1 in addition to Wheeling Battalion 24 who cleared from the Prospect Heights incident.

Companies found a basement fire which was extinguished in short order, but he fire burned through a spot above on the first floor creating hazard to interior crews. The entire house was filled with smoke and had to be ventilated.; #larryshapiro;; #housefire; #WheelingFD;

Larry Shapiro photo

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