Ill. Firefighter Injured in Flashover While Battling Blaze

An Arlington Heights firefighter was thrown back during a flashover while in a stairwell of a burning home.


An Arlington Heights firefighter was thrown back during a flashover while in a stairwell of a burning home Wednesday night.

The unidentified firefighter was transported to Northwest Community Hospital for a minor back injury, smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning, according to The Chicago Daily Herald.

Fire officials told the newspaper that while the stairwell was a vulnerable spot for the firefighter to be standing, it was the only way he would have been able to reach the fire in the basement.

Arlington Heights fire Lt. Ray Loch pointed out that during a basement fire, the stairwell acts like a chimney, which made matters worse when the flashover occurred.

A homeowner was able to escape the basement after chemical fumes exploded in his face, igniting the fire around 5 p.m.

He was taken to Northwest Community Hospital for burns and smoke inhalation.

As crews battled the fire on the 1100 block of South Fernandez Avenue, the first floor began to collapse and they got out just in time.

"We decided to go defensive. We pretty much filled the basement up with water to put the fire out," Loch told the newspaper.

Firefighters were still putting out the flames around 10 p.m. and were expected to remain there through the night.

Officials estimate damage to the structure at more than $200,000.