ROUND LAKE BEACH -- The fire call got a little tense Monday afternoon when a firefighter fell through the roof of a house while battling the blaze.
But firefighter Dennis Ostrander of the Greater Round Lake Area Fire Department managed to catch himself and was helped to safety by fellow firefighters without injury.
Fire Marshall Doug Zeigler said Ostrander was on the roof above the living room cutting a hole with a chain saw to let the heat and smoke escape when a roof rafter and some of the roof sheathing gave way.
Neighbors reported the fire at 1427 Ridgeway, and when firefighters arrived they found heavy flames coming from the kitchen, where the blaze started, Zeigler said.
The cause of the blaze has not been determined.
Firefighters rescued three dogs, half a dozen snakes and a couple of geckos.
The kitchen and half the living room were burned out. Damage to the structure was estimated at $125,000.
Damage to contents was estimated at $75,000. There was heavy smoke and water damage throughout. Smoke detectors were present and working.
Zeigler said the house was uninhabitable and that the family was staying with relatives.
He said the family was getting ready to go on vacation today and one of the family members had left the house at 11:30 a.m. Monday to run some errands. Forty minutes later a neighbor reported the house was on fire.
Grayslake firefighters assisted on the call.
Republished with permission from The Lake County News Sun