Archive for category Fatal fire

Fatal fire in Union, 3-5-24

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The Marengo Fire & Rescue Districts and Union Fire Protection District responded just after 4 a.m. Tuesday morning to the 9600-block of Knolltop Road in unincorporated Union for a reported residential fire that was initially reported by a passerby who saw flames coming from the front of the home.

Firefighters arrived just before 4:20 a.m., and saw heavy flames coming from the roof of the one-story home and they called for more help as the blaze spread quickly, Nearly 15 neighboring agencies responded. The fire was under control within 25 minutes, and crews extinguished hotspots for two more hours.

Firefighters found two men, a dog and a cat inside the home. They were all pronounced deceased. Their identities were not immediately released, and the McHenry County Coroner’s Office is investigating their cause and manner of death.

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal, Marengo Fire & Rescue Districts, Union Fire Protection District, and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the cause of the fire.

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Fatal fire in Hickory Hills, 1-2-24; #HickoryHillsIL; #RobertsParkFPD; #fatalfire; #pressrelease;

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Chicago Fire Department history – Five Chicago Firefighters Die at Reliance Hotel Fire, 12-17-53


From the National Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation:

On a cold Chicago morning, shortly after 2:30 am on December 17, 1953, Chicago firefighters received a report of fire at the Reliance Hotel at 1702 West Madison Street. Firefighters arrived at the scene promptly, only to find the three-story hotel in flames. The fire quickly escalated to three alarms, bringing 100 firefighters to the scene.

At the time, the skid row hotel was being remodeled—but was still open for business. The hotel manager awoke to a smell of smoke and alerted the guests on his way to the first floor to report the fire; a police patrol also reported the fire at around the same time. Seventy-five occupants were rescued; all but one of its occupants escaped unharmed: a 45-year-old resident, who is believed to have set the fire.  Officials found a note in his pocket confessing to several crimes in addition to setting fires in 12 apartment buildings.

Firefighters were working feverishly to contain the fire when, without warning, the front of the building collapsed at around 3:49 am. Those on the roof rode on top of the collapsing building and were able to rescue themselves after the fall. One firefighter described it as “like sliding down a chute.” Fire crews working inside the building weren’t as lucky, and dozens were missing following the collapse.

Ice-encrusted firefighters worked for six hours, digging through the debris with their hands and tools while others continued working to contain the fire. The blaze was contained after 4:30 am.

After the fire was under control, crews continued to work to rescue the trapped and injured firefighters. They worked in frigid temperatures to free their colleagues, under the risk of a secondary collapse. The Chicago Daily News reported that “At the height of the rescue work, all of the city’s police and fire resuscitators were at the wreckage to revive firemen as they were rescued.” The Salvation Army and Red Cross provided food, hot beverages, and shelter to hotel residents and firefighters.

The first missing firefighter found was Robert Jordan of Truck Company 2, who had died. When Mrs. Edyth Jordan came to the scene in search of her husband, clutching a newspaper photo of him at another fire, unknowing firefighters told her that he was injured. She went to Presbyterian Hospital believing him to be alive, but was informed that he had died from his injuries.

 A few hours later, firefighters recovered the bodies George Malik and John Jarose, both of Engine Company 31.

One of the members who was trapped, Ray Nowicki, was stuck in a pocket of debris that was not yet reachable. Firefighters talked to him while they worked to find a way to rescue him. “I’m fine­ just take it easy,” he said to the crew. In the meantime, firefighters held Dr. Joseph Campbell down into the hole by the ankles so he could administer a pain-killing shot to Nowicki.  Dr. Herman Bundesen crawled into the pile to give a shot of morphine to Firefighter John Measner while firefighters passed bricks hand-to-hand to remove Measner from the wreckage.

Lieutenant Theodore Patronski wondered if he and nine of his colleagues would ever be found: “…we heard people working overhead. We shouted for a long time. They never seemed to hear us.” They were trapped in a ten-foot square hole. Rescuers found them when they spotted Patronski’s leg in the debris.

The search continued for Captain Nicholas Schmidt of Engine Company 107 and Firefighter Robert Schaack of Truck 19. Lillian Schmidt and her two daughters stood vigil at home with rosaries in hand, praying for the safe return of their firefighter.  The Schmidt’s two sons waited for word of their father at the scene.  But a crane was brought to the scene to help firefighters clear the debris—and the bodies Captain Schmidt and Firefighter Robert Schaack were later found.

Thanks Drew

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Fatal fire in Crystal Lake, 12-21-23

From the Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department; #CrystalLakeFireDepartment; #fatalfire;

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Fatal fire in Chicago, 12-6-23

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One resident was in critical condition and others may be unaccounted for after a fire tore through a home in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood overnight.

The fire broke out at around 1 a.m. at a home at 1200 S. Kedvale, with officials describing the building as unstable. Three people were hospitalized.

According to the CFD, two of those injured were Chicago Police officers, who were helping to rescue occupants when the front porch of the building collapsed. Those officers were transported to a hospital in serious but stable condition. According to the Chicago Police Department, the officers suffered non-life threatening injuries. At least one office has been released.

The woman, 75, who was also transported to a nearby hospital, was last listed in critical condition.

By early Wednesday morning, the fire had been struck out. However, firefighters were still searching for possible victims, as not all occupants of the home were believed to be accounted for.

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Chicago FD LODD Firefighter/EMT Andrew Price; #ChicaogFD; #LODD; #Firefighter/EMTAndrewPrice;

Chicago Firefighter/EMT Andrew Price

From Chicago Fire Dept. on Facebook:

Our hearts are weighed down with sorrow as we share the news of the passing of FF/EMT Andrew Price, a dedicated member of the Chicago Fire Department for 14 years. Firefighter Price made the ultimate sacrifice, bravely protecting our city. This marks the fourth line of duty loss for our department this year.  Please keep the Price family and our CFD family in your thoughts during these challenging times

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Fatal 2-11 Alarm fire in Chicago, 11-13-23

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A firefighter died in a fire in Lincoln Park Monday morning, the Chicago Fire Department said.

The fire was in the 2400-block of North Lincoln Avenue in a building with the Lincoln Station restaurant on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors. It is also near the Lincoln Hall music venue.

Firefighters carried a firefighter out of the building on a gurney while doing chest compressions before being taken to an ambulance. The firefighter who had been trapped in the building was rescued and transported to Illinois Masonic Medical Center in very critical condition.

CFD Commissioner Annette Nance Holt said the 39-year-old firefighter later died at the hospital.

Further details were not immediately available.

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Fatal fire in Peoria, 10-19-23

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A 72-year-old man has died and two other people were injured during a house fire in Peoria.

A passerby alerted the fire station down the street around 6:55 a.m. that there was smoke coming from a house in the 3400 block of North Gale.

Both a firefighter and a neighbor sustained non-life-threatening injuries while trying to save the victim, and a dog was rushed off by animal control. The fire was put out within 10 minutes.

This is the first Peoria fire fatality in two years.

The damages are estimated at $40,000 and the house is reported a total loss. The cause is under investigation.

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Fatal fire in Stickney, 9-27-23

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One person is dead and two others are injured following a fire at the Gas-N-Wash gas station in the 3800 block of South Cicero in Stickney around 3 p.m. on Wednesday.

“One of the victims was out of the RV in front of the store. The other one was close to the car wash at that point. After interviewing him, we heard there was a third victim and that he did not make it out,” said Stickney Fire Chief Jeff Boyajian.

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Fatal fire in West Chicago, 7-8-23

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One person was found dead after a fire early Saturday morning in the 2300-block of Barnhart Street in the Cornerstone Lakes subdivision of West Chicago. The person has not yet been identified, pending notification of next of kin.

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