Ill. Firefighters Hit House Fire


Crews dispatched to a report of smoke coming from a home from a passerby battled a house fire in South Elgin, IL on Feb. 2. Incident Date: February 2, 2010.

On Feb. 2, at 1:45 p.m., South Elgin, Ill. units were dispatched to 396 Wills St. A passerby reported smoke coming from a dwelling.

Crews on Engine 4 found a two-story single-family house.

They also noted an open garage door, with a car in the driveway but no homeowner.

Water supply was established as the officer in charge completed his 360-degree size-up. Lines were stretched to the front door awaiting the second company for RIT.

Upon entry into the home crews were able to determine that the main body of fire was located in the basement. The partially finished basement had no windows which helped contain heat and smoke.

While initiating the coordinated offensive attack, it was found that the fire had burned through the floor. A first level mutual aid box alarm system (MABAS) alarm was requested which provides change-of-quarters companies to the South Elgin stations and a dedicated RIT company, chief, and ambulance.

The interior attack was continued to support primary search and rescue operations.

The home had various additions creating multiple void spaces that made reaching the seat of the fire difficult. Vertical ventilation was conducted via the roof of the first-story section to help contain the fire from spreading to the two-story addition.

It was believed that the fire was traveling to the attic via the chimney chase.

Upon completion of the primary search, operations were temporarily converted to a defensive mode to assess the amount of structural damage. It was determined that a small portion of the first division flooring had burned through.

It was also determined that a column supporting an "I" beam also had been compromised. Defensive operations were continued until a safe zone was established and interior operations could be safely resumed.

PARs were conducted and confirmed prior to any change in strategy. There were no injuries.

The family returned while the fire was being extinguished.

A second-alarm was requested to support the scene companies. Engines from Elgin and St. Charles, a truck from West Dundee, a squad from Hanover Park, and the Kane County command van assisted at the scene as part of the second-alarm response.

The Rutland Dundee Support team also responded to the scene to support formal firefighter incident rehab.

Fire loss was stopped at 2:49 a.m. Extensive overhaul was required. Fire investigators remained on the scene until 7:31. The cause is still under investigation; but believed to be accidental.

It was contained to the basement and first floor. Extensive smoke damage occurred throughout the home.