Illinois Firefighters Respond to Fatal 3 Flat House Fire

Oak Park firefighters and others from four nearby suburbs battled a blaze in the early morning hours Saturday.

At about 2:05 am, the Oak Park Fire Department (a near western suburb of Chicago) was dispatched for a structure fire. While enroute WESTCOM dispatch advised PD on scene reporting a well involved fire with a person unable to get out on the 2nd floor.

Crews arrived and found a large 3 story "3 Flat" of an 80 year-old home with fire on all floors in the rear (sector C) & the entire third floor heavily involved. In addition, there was an exposure problem to a 3 story brick aptartment building in Sector B. Police reported that one resident was still unaccounted for and other residents had reported that the resident to still be inside. Crews immediatly began a search with the aid of a handline and additional 2-1/2 inch lines where stretched for attack and exposure protection.

As first in companies made their way in, they found extreme heat and smoke. After about 10 minutes into a search, command saw fire conditions becoming worse as well as signs of the structure weakening. Interior crews also reported conditions becoming untenable.

The order to evacuate was sounded. A MABAS Division 11 Box alarm was pulled bringing in the additional mutual-aid. Crews then began an exterior attack utilizing one tower ladder in Sector A, one aerial pipe in Sector D, abd four 2-1/2 inch handlines.

Twenty minutes into the exterior attack the roof and third floor collapsed. The exposure was protected and the fire was darkened down. Once the fire had been knocked down an interior operation resumed. The body of a woman was later found on the second floor. Crews worked throughout the day to extinguish hot spots.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.