Archive for January 27th, 2023

Still and Box Alarm fire in Chicago, 1-27-23

Excerpts from

The Chicago Fire Department responed to a fire around 3:30 a.m. in the 6300-block of South Central Avenue.

Flames engulfed the building, which the fire department now says is a total loss.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries, but is expected to be OK.

Employees of the business said it was Georgis Catering, which has been serving the city for 77 years. The business served meals for private planes at Midway and also worked with Meals on Wheels. Employees said about 2,000 meals for Meals on Wheels would not be distributed Friday.

Meals on Wheels Foundation of Northern Illinois said they do have emergency boxes prepared for those residents Friday. They are working to find another food provider for their seniors on Monday.

Meals On Wheels eleased a statement saying, “We are devastated at the loss that our catering partner, George “Buz” Georgis at Georgis Catering has endured. For over a decade, Georgis Catering has provided nearly 10,000 meals per week to Cook County’s most vulnerable seniors. Buz is a kind soul who has always shown up for our clients, and

Georgis Catering truly helped make a difference in our communities. Our programs serve almost 7,000 older adults and individuals with disabilities, and with Buz’s partnership we were on track to serve 700,000 meals in Cook County and nearly 1,000,000 meals program wide this year.

“At our eight sites in Cook County in Brookfield, Berwyn, Hometown, South Chicago Heights, Phoenix, Lemont Township, and at one of our stand-alone cafés in Dolton, our clients will not receive hot meals today. While they will be provided with emergency shelf stable meals, we are searching for a new caterer and trying to connect with local restaurants as quickly as we can. Our programs in Will, Kendall, and Grundy counties will continue as usual.

“We have been in touch with Buz and we hope that the community can support him as he has supported them in the past. Community members who want to support the seniors in Cook County and make sure we can quickly return to providing hot meals can contribute their time or make a donation to the Meals on Wheels Foundation of Northern Illinois. For interest in volunteering or making a gift, reach out to Zoraima Yoli at 224-471-9936 or at”

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4-11 Alarm High-Rise fire in Chicago, 1-25-23 (more)

From Captured News on YouTube:

The Chicago Fire Department was called to the scene of a devastating high-rise fire in the Kenwood neighborhood on the city’s South Side that has left one resident dead and multiple others injured. Crews were called to the building, located at 4850 S Lake Park Ave, at approximately 10:00 am on Wednesday morning, after reports of smoke and flames were seen coming from the 15th floor. Upon arrival, firefighters found the fire was starting to spread to the 16th floor, with thick smoke and intense heat making it difficult to contain the blaze. Despite the challenges, crews were able to evacuate the building, and several residents were transported to local hospitals for treatment of smoke inhalation and other injuries. At least 10 ambulances responded to the scene. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, but officials say it appears to have started in one of the 15th floor units. The extent of the damage is still being assessed, but it is clear that most of the units will be uninhabitable for some time.The power for the elevators was lost, forcing firefighters to use the stairwells to evacuate the building, including elderly residents who may have had difficulty getting out on their own. Despite the challenges, crews were able to evacuate the building, and several residents were transported to local hospitals for treatment of smoke inhalation and other injuries. The Red Cross is currently assisting displaced residents with temporary housing and other needs.

thanks Keith

Excerpts from

A fire broke out in the 15th floor of the 25-story Harper Square Co-Op building in the 4800-block of South Lake Park Avenue just after 10 a.m. Wednesday. Wind caused the fire to spread very quickly, going vertically from floor to floor all the way up to the 24th floor.

It took hundreds of firefighters to knock out the flames, and the elevators were out, so all of the equipment had to be lifted up manually.

One woman found dead on the 15th floor. Eight other residents were injured. A firefighter was also injured. Nearly half of the units in the building are now considered uninhabitable.

The Chicago Fire Department said smoking materials ignited combustibles in a bedroom and ruled the fire an accident. A smoke detector was in the residence but was not working, CFD said.

The identity of the woman killed has not yet been released, but those who knew her said she was a retired teacher in her 80s.

Apparently the building has failed its seven last inspections by the Department of Buildings (DOB), including one on Dec. 1, 2022, for not testing the fire alarm and evacuation system.

After being in violation for more than a year, 4850 South Lake Park Thursday submitted certification by outside contractor Fox Valley Fire & Safety. Paper work obtained shows fire alarms passed inspection. But the records submitted Thursday were for testing done at the end of 2021, more than a year ago. So at the time of the fire, the high rise was still not in fire compliance,

DOB also said during an inspection on Nov. 7, 2022, violations for the interior door tags, exterior masonry and for failing to file the required high-rise exterior wall report were noted. The DOB also referred the violations to the Department of Law, which filed an enforcement action in the Circuit Court of Cook County. The court case is scheduled to be hears on Feb. 2.

The apartment building, which was built in 1970, has 298 apartments in it, with about 267 units occupied, and individual units in this building do not have sprinklers.

After the deadly 2003 fire at the Cook County Administration Building, the city passed an ordinance requiring all residential high rises to pass what’s called a “life safety evaluation.” The ordinance does not require sprinklers as long as buildings put in passive measures, such as self-closing doors to contain a fire.

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Rockford Fire Department news

Excerpts from

U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth on Saturday visited Rockford Fire Department headquarters where a $1 million Congressional earmark she backed will help pay to establish a permanent emergency operations center. Funding for the emergency operations center was chosen from among more than 600 applicants vying for a portion of $88 million.

Money for the emergency operations center is expected to arrive in Rockford within months.

For now, computers, keyboards and monitors line the outskirts of a room at Rockford Fire Department headquarters that is meant to be a classroom. Cables, communications equipment and more computers can be retrieved from storage cabinets and carted into the space when an emergency arises.

It takes 30-45 minutes to turn the classroom into an operations center that augments the city’s 911 Center — where call takers routinely field 27 emergency calls an hour and took about 240,000 calls for service in 2022. The emergency operations center can take some of the load of directing responses off the 911 Center during a catastrophic or large-scale emergency.

During previous emergencies, Rockford staff have manned a Winnebago County emergency response center located at the Criminal Justice Center.

Plans are to convert training areas and opens space on the first floor of Rockford Fire Department headquarters, 204 S. First St., into the dedicated city of Rockford emergency operations center.

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