Posts Tagged Arlington Heights Fire Department history

Arlington Heights Fire Department history

This from Chief Drew Smith:

Here are a few things that I’ve come across that some may find of interest

Arlington Heights Fire Department memo from 1980



Arlington Park Racetrack fire … 30 years ago

These news articles about the Arlington Park Racetrack fire are from Drew Smith:


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3 dead after Arlington Heights house fire 11-6-13 (update)

The Chicago Tribune has an article identifying the deceased from the Arlington Heights fire on Wednesday.

Authorities said today that arson has been ruled out in the deaths of an elderly disabled woman, her live-in caregiver and the caregiver’s daughter, all three of whom died in an Arlington Heights house fire Wednesday. Officials said the fire started in the first-floor kitchen near the back of a property in the 300 block of South Dunton Avenue.

Investigators found a smoke detector with no batteries in it on the second floor of the home belonging to Doris Miller, 93, said Arlington Heights police Cmdr. Mike Hernandez. [He] also said no other smoke detectors were found in the house.

Tetiana Krych, 62, was Miller’s live-in caregiver and Krych’s daughter, Svitlana Kandelis, 40, of the 1500 block of Tahoe Circle in Wheeling, was visiting for the night, said Hernandez. All three women were pronounced dead at the scene in what has been ruled an accidental fire, Hernandez said. The victims died of smoke inhalation and “thermal injuries,” including tissue burns and heat-related injuries, he said.

The most extensive damage was to the back of the three-bedroom house. One corner of the second floor collapsed just as firefighters got to the scene, said Fire Chief Glenn Ericksen.

[Firefighters] first spotted Miller in a downstairs bedroom before removing her through a window. Krych was found in the downstairs dining room area and Kandelis was found near the front entrance, Hernandez said.

“A lot of people try to do many things (in a fire),” he said. “I would like to think so, that (Kandelis) was trying to make her way through the front door, but that’s speculation.” Miller was physically immobile and did not have any family nearby.

The exact cause of the kitchen fire hasn’t been determined, but arson and foul play have been ruled out, officials said.



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First full-time Arlington Heights FF dies

The Daily Herald has an article chronicling the fire service life of Davud Mills, the first full-time firefighter in Arlington Heights.

The Arlington Heights Fire Department hired its first full-time firefighters in 1957 after operating as a volunteer force since the 1800s. Badge No. 1 that year was given to David Mills, who stayed with the department for 32 years and rose to be deputy chief until his retirement in 1989.

Mills, 84, died [last] Monday after a short illness. He is being remembered for his contributions as a “founding father” of the department.

“He was probably one of the finest people I ever met,” said Charles Kramer, who joined the fire department in 1967 and worked with Mills for more than 20 years. “I never heard him say a bad thing about anybody. He was a leader, he was a friend, he was a teacher, he was a mentor.”

He said Mills was a calming factor in what could often be a high-stress job. The two men fought side by side in the 1985 fire that destroyed Arlington Park, which Kramer called a major event in both their careers.

Even more than 20 years after retiring, Mills would still come into the station to talk to firefighters, share memories and donate memorabilia from his years with the department, Kramer said.

“Everyone looked up to him,” Kramer said. “He’s going to be really, really missed.”

Mills … was promoted to lieutenant in 1964, captain in 1969 and deputy chief in 1975, Kramer said.

“He would rather be inside the building fighting the fire, on the hose line with everyone else, than outside directing crews,” Kramer said.

Mills also was a member of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association, Illinois Professional Firefighters Association and the International Association of Fire Chiefs and served as president of the Northeastern Illinois Fire Chiefs Association.

Mills is survived by his wife, Joyce, three children, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He also had three stepchildren, nine step-grandchildren and seven great-stepgrandchildren. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 53 years, Genevieve.


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