Tag Archives: fire

Chicago apartment fire kills eight children in Little Village

(CBS) — Eight children, ranging in age from 3 months to 16 years old,  died in a fire overnight in the 2200 block of South Sacramento in the Little Village neighborhood.

All the victims were found on the second floor. Family members said some of the children were at the apartment for a sleepover. Two others, one adult and one child, were taken to the hospital in very critical condition, suffering from smoke inhalation, according to Chicago police.

Family members identified the victims as: Maya Almaraz, 3 months; Ariel Garcia, 5 years old; Lonni Ayala, 3 years old; Gialonni Ayala, 5 years old; Xavier Contreras, 11 years old; Nathan Contreras, 13 years old; Giovanni Ayala, 10 years old and Victor Mendoza, 16 years old.

“We have not had this in many, many, many years,” said Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago. ‘This is a very tragic incident.”

The blaze ignited just before 4 a.m. on the second floor of a building on South Sacramento Avenue, according to Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago.

The fire began in the rear of the building, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. The exit to the front of the building was clear, “but without working smoke detectors the occupants were not awakened in time to get to safety,” according to the mayor’s statement.

Volunteers with the Red Cross were on the scene Sunday morning, assisting other residents who were displaced by the fire.

GoFundMe page has been set up by Enlace Chicago to raise money for funeral costs.

Read more from CBS Chicago.



Fire causes Atlanta interstate to collapse

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By Jason Hanna, Faith Karimi and Steve Almasy, CNN
Drivers in one of the world’s most congested cities woke up to a jarring new reality Friday as they were forced to game out how to get around a collapsed portion of Atlanta’s Interstate 85 — one of the Southeast’s major north-south arteries.
A mysterious fire collapsed an I-85 northbound overpass Thursday evening — injuring no one — and also damaged the southbound portion, forcing the closure of all five lanes in each direction for the foreseeable future.
The shutdown likely sets the city up for traffic nightmares for weeks to come after creating navigation hell on Thursday with jams that extended five miles or more and stranded motorists in the immediate area for hours.
The closure comes at a sensitive time for a city accustomed to gridlock — with hordes of spring break vacationers poised to drive through the regional hub and the Atlanta Braves set to play a preseason game Friday night in their new stadium in the city’s northwest corner.
“I think it’s as serious a transportation crisis as we could have,” Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said Thursday evening.
‘Fell with a big kaboom’
The fire started Thursday evening under an I-85 overpass in north-central Atlanta, north of the highway’s split with I-75.
Officials said they didn’t immediately know what sparked the flames, which morphed into a massive fireball. At first, I-85 motorists drove through the smoke, and firefighters fought the flames below.
“There was a 40-feet or higher wall of fire. Power lines were falling and arcing heavily and falling in the streets,” Cortez Stafford, a spokesman for the Atlanta Fire Department, told CNN.
The elevated span of highway collapsed about 7 p.m. ET, as crews battling the fire got out of danger’s way.
As concrete began falling from under the bridge, firefighters were asked to step back, Stafford said. “Not even two minutes later, the highway fell with a big ‘kaboom.’ (It) knocked our guys back.”
While the highway is normally jammed with cars around that time, there were no fatalities, Reed said.
More than 220,000 cars per day are estimated to drive through that stretch of the interstate. Officials scrambled to come up with alternate routes and encouraged riders to use public transit.
“This is the time to start planning and looking for an alternate route on how you do your business,” Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry said Thursday evening.
Surreal scenes
Social media users posted surreal images showing motorists — before the collapse — choosing to drive into the black smoke that billowed onto the highway as the fire burned beneath them.
CNN’s Eliott C. McLaughlin was driving north on I-85 during the evening rush hour when he saw smoke rising from underneath the elevated highway.
Many cars on the left side of the five-lane section barreled through the thick black smoke. They disappeared into the darkness as they drove, he said.
McLaughlin slowly followed the taillights of an SUV through the smoke.
Soon, interstate traffic was stopped and turned around, creating long jams.
What caused the collapse?
As word of the incident spread, so did the speculation.
Reed, Atlanta’s mayor, did not provide details on what caused the collapse, but said it is not linked to terrorism and an investigation is underway.
“We’ve spoken to the special agent in charge of FBI, there is no evidence this is related to terrorism,” he said Thursday night.
Gov. Nathan Deal said he heard speculation it was caused by some “PVC products that caught fire.”
Two fire trucks from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in south Atlanta rushed to the scene and sprayed foam on the fallen section and flames.
‘It’s going to take some time’
Authorities worked through the night to access the bridge and ensure the risks from the collapse are contained.
“There is a possibility you could have a further collapse,” Reed said. “We still have personnel at the sight making sure there are no hotspots. We won’t know the area of vulnerability for the bridge until tomorrow.”
The company that originally built the elevated highway would assess the damage, Deal told reporters.
“It’s going to take some time to get it repaired and to get it back in service,” he said, without offering a timeframe for reopening.
Not business as usual
MARTA, Atlanta’s rail and bus system, will offer extended service through the weekend.
One school district, in nearby DeKalb County, canceled classes for Friday. Schools in Atlanta will be open, Reed said, and city and state offices won’t open until 10 a.m.
Weeks of repair ahead
Most structural materials lose strength when subjected to high temperature, meaning the concrete could have been compromised by the heat, said Reginald DesRoches, a professor at Georgia Tech.
It is too early to say how long it will take to repair the highway, he said.
“It certainly can take anywhere from several weeks to several months,” he said. “The surrounding sections of the highway will be evaluated to determine if any damage was sustained from the heat. It is probably prudent to check both sides of the adjacent sections (northbound and southbound).”

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Police: Man attacked woman, set Joliet house on fire

(JOLIET) A man attacked a 36-year-old woman and set a house on fire Sunday afternoon in southwest suburban Joliet, according to police.

Someone called 911 just after 2 p.m. to report a woman was outside a home in the 1000 block of Infantry Lane covered in blood and claiming that someone had tried to kill her outside a house that was on fire, according to Joliet Police Chief Brian Benton.

Officers responded and found the house on fire and the 36-year-old woman receiving first aid from citizens at the scene, Benton said.

The victim was taken to Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet for treatment, and the fire was extinguished, Benton said.

Officers saw 36-year-old Timothy S. Gregory standing nearby, Benton said. Based on statements from the victim and corroborating statements, Gregory, of Shorewood, was charged with aggravated battery and aggravated arson and taken to the Will County Jail.

© Copyright 2017 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Police: Garage fire spreads to ‘several’ structures in Logan Square

(CHICAGO) A garage fire spread to “several” other structures early Monday in the Logan Square neighborhood on the Northwest Side, police said.

Emergency crews responded to the fire about 1:35 a.m. in a residential garage in the 3800 block of West Wrightwood, according to Chicago Police.

The garage, which had a vehicle parked inside, sustained severe damage and “several adjacent structures” were also damaged by the flames, police said.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation early Monday.

Community comes together to help family who lost babies in fire

(CHICAGO) Seeing the media horde, the Rev. Leonard T. Smith walked the two blocks from Vernon Baptist Church to 66th and Champlain, where Chicago Fire Department officials were emphasizing the importance of smoke detectors at a building where two babies died.

A stove had been used for heat, and there were no working smoke detectors in the one-bedroom basement apartment where a fire on Feb. 25 took the lives of 7-month-old Ziya Grace and 2-year-old Samari Grace, the fire department said.

Smith hung back during the news conference, and afterward he told the Chicago Sun-Times that Vernon Baptist was trying to connect with the family to help.

“Obviously, when it’s children, and it’s this close to home, it hurts,” he said.

Now, the Woodlawn community is rallying around them.

A fundraiser is planned for 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 18, at Vernon Baptist Church, 6400 S. Champlain, organized by several churches, area businesses and community groups, and the Chicago Police Department’s 3rd District Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy office.

“The family is homeless. Several members are still in the hospital. The babies’ bodies remain in the morgue,” Smith said.

“This family has lived in the community over 30 years and have been staples here, so everyone in the area is concerned and wanting to help. We brought it to our CAPS meeting, and everyone was in full support,” he said. “We’re inviting the city to drop by the fundraiser on Saturday with a donation. We’ll have a choir, entertainment, a program. Lots of people are calling our pastor to contribute.”

Additionally, a GoFundMe campaign has been established for the family.

Six people lived in the basement apartment. Still hospitalized are Zakkiya Franklin, the 25-year-old mother of Ziya and Samari; the girls’ grandmother, Ernestine Franklin, 49; and their 6-year-old cousin, Donald Johnson Jr. Burned over 75 percent of his body, Donald Jr. has already had five surgeries. The boy’s mother, Janice Franklin, was earlier discharged from the hospital, but spends 24 hours a day at the hospital with Donald.

Zakkiya Franklin, who was burned on her head, face and hands, is now alert and communicating by writing, and only learned last week that firefighters were unable to rescue her two girls despite heroic efforts, several family members said.

“She told us she kind of already knew in her heart, because in all this time, none of us had ever mentioned the kids. She said, ‘Well, they are up in heaven,’” said Rachel Franklin, one of her great aunts.

“Ernestine’s doing better, and has been moved from the burn unit. We’re waiting on Zakkiya to come out of the hospital before we can plan funerals. And when they come out, they have family, but nowhere to call home,” she added.

The building was owned by Ernestine Franklin’s brother. The fire remains under investigation. The Building Department has said it previously received a complaint of no heat from residents at the building, through a 311 call on Jan. 5. The department said inspectors visited the address on Jan. 6 but were unable to gain entry, leaving a notice for the owner to contact the department.

The owner has declined to comment, designating his niece, Shaquena Luckett, to speak for him.

“My uncle is taking this very hard. I want people to know that,” Luckett said. “The babies lost were his great-nieces. That’s his great-nephew in the hospital, along with his sister, and his niece. He’s grieving. We’re all grieving.

“That was a family building, full of love,” she said. At some point over the years, everyone in this family has lived there. If you had nowhere to go, you knew you could always come there. It’s not at all what people may think. We’re just very grateful for the outpouring.”

5 families displaced by fire at Elgin apartment building

(ELGIN) Five families were in need of shelter Wednesday afternoon after a fire broke out at an apartment building in northwest suburban Elgin.

Firefighters responded shortly before 3 p.m. and found smoke in a basement laundry room of the building in the 300 block of Kathleen Drive, according to the Elgin Fire Department.

Fire inside the walls and ceiling spread to second floor apartments, but was extinguished and contained to units on the first and second floors, fire officials said. The blaze caused damage to the electrical system and water pipes, causing extensive water damage to the basement. No injuries were reported.

All utilities were shut off, rendering the building uninhabitable, fire officials said. The American Red Cross was called to the scene to assist five families with housing.

Damage to the building’s structural components, including studs and floor joists, and mechanical systems was estimated at up to $100,000. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

Tennessee fires blaze into third day

By Max Blau, Darran Simon and Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN

Three people died in raging wildfires in Sevier County, Tennessee, that scorched roughly 15,000 acres, showered residents with embers and forced tourists to evacuate from resort communities.

The wildfires, which started Monday, damaged or destroyed more than 250 buildings throughout part of eastern Tennessee that’s home to the resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. In a dizzying 24-hour period, though, officials said Tuesday the disaster spared some major tourist attractions.
Evacuees said the fire that spread without warning from the Great Smoky Mountains, surrounding their homes. They were forced to leave with only the clothes on their backs.
“There was flames everywhere,” 52-year-old Gatlinburg resident Mark Benzschawel told CNN’s Nick Valencia. “It was a firestorm.”
Benzschawel said police banged on his door Monday night to wake him and his partner, Denise Bearden. The couple alerted their neighbor, who managed to escape with her dog.
Gatlinburg Fire Chief Greg Miller said that the three victims killed in the blaze died in separate incidents.
“We pray we don’t experience any more fatalities but there are still areas that we’re trying to get to because of down trees and down power lines,” Miller said.
The fire that sparked the dozen other blazes was started by a person,” National Park Service spokeswoman Dana Soehn said without offering further specifics.
The cause of blaze remains under investigation.


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Smoke From Gatlinburg Fire Blocks Sun

‘Like a perfect storm’
During the storm’s first 24 hours, strong gusts of up to nearly 90 mph scattered a wildfire’s embers across the Great Smoky Mountains National Park into nearby communities. Fires fed off drought-stricken trees. Winds knocked down power lines — contributing to thousands losing electricity. In turn, that led to new fires.
“Everything was like a perfect storm,” Cassius Cash, superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, told CNN affiliate WATE.
The fire destroyed a number of structures at Gatlinburg’s Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa. A major attraction, the Ober Gatlinburg ski area and amusement park that overlooks the city, appeared to be spared. But on a road leading to the resort, what used to be homes have been reduced to burned-out husks.
Only the bricks remained intact — and only in places. The insides have been eaten away by the fire.
Cars parked outside suffered the same fate — their paint burned to ash, their tires melted away. Uprooted trees leaned on power lines.
Smoke, which turned the sky a bleak gray, continued to drift Tuesday from burned-out vehicles and the charred remains of buildings.
“It is absolutely devastating,” said Mark Nagi of the Tennessee Department of Transportation, who posted footage of the destruction on his Twitter feed.
‘Down in flames’
On Tuesday, firefighters continued to put out flames and clear fallen trees and telephone poles from roadways, Chief Miller said. But authorities have issued evacuation orders for Gatlinburg and nearby areas including parts of Pigeon Forge.
Pigeon Forge is home to Dollywood, the theme park owned by singer and actress Dolly Parton. At Dollywood, officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park evacuated guests from its resort and cabins as flames approached the area. The park was not damaged.
In a statement, Parton said she was heartbroken about the fire damage and had been “praying for all the families affected.”
“It is a blessing that my Dollywood theme park, the DreamMore Resort and so many businesses in Pigeon Forge have been spared,” she added.
Several emergency shelters opened to accommodate evacuees. About 1,300 people stayed overnight at the local community center and park. Nearby the Great Smoky Mountains National Park evacuated employees from the Elkmont and park headquarters housing areas on Monday.
Some residents needed oxygen after inhaling smoke, other huddled near the shelters. Officials in Cocke and Sevier counties have canceled classes for Wednesday.
“We watched a building go down in flames,” said one tearful evacuee who firefighters rescued.
Officials said they remain uncertain certain when residents would be able to return to evacuated neighborhoods. A curfew remained in effect from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
‘It’s just engulfed’
Some people — including guests at one Gatlinburg hotel — could not safely leave the area as the fire advanced Monday night.
Logan Baker, a guest at the Park Vista Hotel, was among dozens of guests unable to leave because falling trees engulfed in flames had blocked the only road out. The fire swept up to the hotel parking lot, he told CNN affiliate WATE.
“I just see fire everywhere,” said Baker.
The fire had not reached the hotel, but smoke had permeated the building, making it hard to breathe, he said. Guests stood in the hotel lobby Monday night with masks over their faces.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, who flew over the scorched forest, said the region’s damage was “a little numbing” given how “special” it was for the entire state.
“Millions have families have come here and will continue to come here,” Haslam said.
Bracing for the threat of more fires
Despite some progress battling the Tennessee fire, officials braced for the possibility of spot fires headed into Wednesday.
“The single greatest concern would be the wind,” Miller said. “The greater the wind speed is, it just makes our job a little harder. It creates these additional spot fires.”
According to CNN meteorologist Michael Guy, the nearby Great Smoky Mountains were under a high wind warning, with possible wind gusts of up to 60 mph.
The area could be helped by up to 2 inches of rainfall expected overnight. The stormy weather’s threat could be twofold: Lightning strikes could spark more fires or the downpour could prompt flash flooding.
“It’s a devastating time for us, and for Gatlinburg,” Gatlinburg Mayor Mike Werner said. “We’re strong, we’re resilient,…we’re going to make it.”
The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Inmate hospitalized after fire at Cook County Jail

An inmate was hospitalized after a fire early Wednesday at the Cook County Jail. | Network Video Productions


(CHICAGO) An inmate was hospitalized in critical condition after a fire early Wednesday at the Cook County Jail.

Firefighters responded about 12:30 a.m. to the blaze at 2834 W. 31st St., Division IX of the jail, said Fire Media Affairs Chief Juan Hernandez. Division IX was designed to hold 1,056 males and is comprised of two interconnected three-story buildings, housing general population inmates with a maximum security classification, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office website.

One inmate, a 25-year-old man, suffered burns and a stab wound that appeared to be self-inflicted, Hernandez said. He was taken in critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital.

The fire was struck out by 1:24 a.m. and no other injuries were reported, officials said. The cause remains under investigation.

Fire damages Sonic Drive-In in Palatine

(PALATINE) A Sonic Drive-In restaurant in northwest suburban Palatine was closed for cleanup and repairs after a fire Tuesday afternoon.

Crews were called at 3:55 p.m. when a fire alarm was activated at the restaurant, 1151 E. Dundee Road in Palatine, according to a statement from the Palatine Fire Department. Firefighters arrived to find welders working on the exterior of the building and smoke inside.

The fire was eventually located inside an exterior wall and extending up toward the roof, the fire department said. Crews had to open the interior walls and ceiling and breach the building’s exterior walls to expose and extinguish the fire, which was under control by 4:18 p.m.

No injuries were reported and the damage was contained to one corner of the restaurant, fire officials said. The restaurant will remain closed until repairs and cleanup are completed.

Man charged with setting fire to NW Side church

Raymond Luna | Chicago Police

(CHICAGO) A Northwest Side man has been charged with setting fire to St. Genevieve Church early Monday.

Raymond Luna, 28, faces two felony counts of aggravated arson for the fire at the church at 4835 W. Altgeld St., according to Chicago Police.

Officers called for a reported burglary saw Luna climbing out of a window as smoke poured from the building when they responded at 12:14 a.m., police said.

The officers called firefighters, who put out the fire with minimal damage, police said. No one was hurt.

Luna, of the 2100 block of North Lorel, was arrested at the scene. He was scheduled to appear in bond court Tuesday.

Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze at St Genevieve Church, 4835 W. Altgeld St., early Monday. | Network Video Productions
Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze at St Genevieve Church, 4835 W. Altgeld St., early Monday. | Network Video Productions

5-11 Fire in Little Village Struck, Hotspots Being Chased

By Jen DeSalvo, WLS-AM 890 News & Traffic

Updated at 7:01 a.m.

(CHICAGO) An extra-alarm fire is burning at an industrial park in the Little Village neighborhood on the southwest side of Chicago.

The fire, which broke about 3:30 a.m., was escalated to a 5-11 alarm at 4:54 a.m. Upwards of 25 fire engines and five ambulances were called to the scene by that time.

Chicago Fire Department crews battle an extra-alarm fire in Little Village early Friday. | Network Video Productions


Pallets inside of the warehouse are adding to the extra-alarm fire that started at a tire warehouse. It is being treated as a Level 1 Hazmat situation.

Both Western and 26th streets are closed to any traffic, and smoke from the fire is covering parts of the Stevenson expressway.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, no injuries have been reported with the fire still blazing as of 5 a.m., police said. Chicago Fire Department officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

As of 6:30 a.m., the fire has been struck, though crews remain on the scene to chase hotspots. Street closures include 26th for the half-mile stretch between Western and California.



Screenshot from NBC Sky 5
Screenshot from NBC Sky 5


Chicago Fire Department crews battle an extra-alarm fire in Little Village early Friday. | Network Video Productions
Network Video Productions

Chicago Fire Department crews battle an extra-alarm fire in Little Village early Friday. | Network Video Productions
Network Video Productions

An extra-alarm fire rages early Friday near 26th Street and Rockwell in Little Village. | Network Video Productions
An extra-alarm fire rages early Friday near 26th Street and Rockwell in Little Village. | Network Video Productions


Firefighter hurt, residents displaced in Evanston fire

Crews battle a fire Monday afternoon in the 800 block of Sherman Avenue in Evanston. | Evanston Fire Department

(EVANSTON) A firefighter was injured and multiple families were displaced in a fire Monday afternoon at a townhouse in north suburban Evanston.

Crews were called about 3:20 p.m. for reports of a fire at the two-story townhouse in the 800 block of Sherman Avenue, according to a statement from the Evanston Fire Department. They arrived to find heavy smoke and fire venting from a first-floor window of the unit, which had two other units attached to it.

Firefighters found heavy smoke throughout the structure and fire in the basement and on the first floor, authorities said. The residents, who reported the fire, had safely exited the building on their own.

The fire was under control by 4:20 p.m. and extinguished by 4:51 p.m., the fire department said. Families from all three units were displaced and the American Red Cross assisted them with finding shelter.

One firefighter was injured in the incident, authorities said. He was taken to a hospital, where he was treated and released.

No injuries in fire on plane at Chicago’s Midway Airport

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago firefighters say no one was hurt after a small fire developed on an airplane at Midway International Airport.

The Fire Department says the blaze was reported in the engine compartment of a plane near Gate 7 shortly after noon Monday.

It says the blaze was put out with an extinguisher.

No passengers were aboard the plane at the time.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Firefighters battle blaze on sailboat in Burnham Harbor

(CHICAGO) No injuries were reported early Monday when a fire broke out on a sailboat in Burnham Harbor on the South Side.

Authorities responded shortly before 3 a.m. to a report of a boat fire in Burnham Harbor in the 1500 block of South Linn White Drive, according to Chicago Police.

When firefighters arrived, they found the sailboat engulfed in flames, police said. No injuries were reported.

The police Bomb and Arson Unit was notified of the fire, but additional information was not immediately available.

Man charged with murder in Chicago fire that killed 4

(CHICAGO) A man has been charged with murder in a Chicago apartment building fire that killed an infant, two other children and a man.

Police say in a statement that 51-year-old Reginald Hester faces four counts of first-degree murder and two counts of arson. He’s scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for a bond hearing, a day after he was arrested. It wasn’t known whether he had a lawyer.

Hester’s family has denied he had anything to do with the fire.

Police said after the Aug. 23 fire that it appeared to have been deliberately set by someone after a domestic dispute.

Three children ages 3 months, 4 and 7 died in the fire along with a 56-year-old man. The Chicago Tribune reports Hester was earlier questioned in the case and released.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Woman sets herself on fire in Chicago congressman’s office

(CHICAGO) Police say a woman walked into U.S. Rep. Danny Davis’ office on Chicago’s West Side, drank out of a bottle of hand sanitizer, poured the sanitizer over herself and set herself on fire with a lighter.

Authorities haven’t identified the woman who was taken to a hospital in serious condition with burns. Police say her condition has stabilized.

Davis wasn’t in the office at the time.

A news release from Davis’ office says the woman came in around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Davis says he doesn’t know why. He says the woman only spoke with office staff briefly before picking up the hand sanitizer. Staff responded with a fire extinguisher, but the woman ran out while still on fire.

Davis is a Democrat who was first elected in 1996.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

West Englewood firefighters searching for missing dog | abc7chicago.com

Engine 116 firefighters are searching for their beloved fire house dog, Bull. He was let out on Aug. 14, and has not returned.

“I never thought I would be dog guy, but ten years ago, I was adopted by a dog,” Big John Howell said on Tuesday morning.

Big John and Ray want to help get this dog back home. Share the picture!

Any info can be provided to the station located at 5955 S Ashland Ave. Chicago, IL 60636.

Chicago firefighters at Engine 116 in the city’s West Englewood neighborhood are searching for their engine’s dog Bull, who has been missing since Aug. 14.

Source: West Englewood firefighters searching for missing dog | abc7chicago.com

Child dead, 3 injured in extra-alarm blaze in South Chicago

Firefighters battled an extra-alarm blaze early Tuesday at a three-story apartment building in South Chicago. | Chicago Fire Department


(CHICAGO) A child has died and three other people were injured after an extra-alarm blaze early Tuesday in a South Chicago neighborhood apartment building.

Firefighters responded about 1:40 a.m. to the blaze in the three-story courtyard apartment building in the 8100 block of South Essex, according to Chicago Police and the Chicago Fire Department.

Fire officials reported heavy fire on the second and third floors of the building.

The child was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he or she was pronounced dead, authorities said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office confirmed the fatality, but did not release additional information Tuesday morning.

One man was taken in serious-to-critical condition to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, two other people were taken to South Shore Hospital, one in fair-to-serious condition and the other in good condition, fire officials said.

As of 3:47 a.m., crews were still working to put the fire out with three master streams directed at the building.

Person injured in fire at Oakbrook Terrace hotel

Firefighters battle a blaze Sunday night at the La Quinta Inn in Oakbrook Terrace. | Network Video Productions

(OAKBROOK TERRACE) A person was injured and more than 100 people were evacuated after a fire broke out in a hotel room Sunday night in west suburban Oakbrook Terrace.

Firefighters responding at 9:38 p.m. to an activated fire alarm at the La Quinta Inn, 1 Midwest Road, found heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the hotel, Oakbrook Terrace Fire Protection District Chief Ralph DeLuca told reporters at the scene.

Three people were rescued from the third floor of the building with the use of exterior ground ladders, DeLuca said. More than 100 people were evacuated from inside the hotel.

One person suffered “minor smoke inhalation” in the blaze and was taken to the hospital, he said.

The fire was extinguished within about 20 minutes and was contained to a unit on the second floor, where it originated. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation and the hotel sustained “heavy smoke and fire damage,” DeLuca said.

The Oakbrook Terrace Fire Protection District was assisted in the evacuation by firefighters from Westchester, Westmont, Addison, Elmhurst, Lombard, Glen Ellyn, Villa Park and more.

Firefighters respond to house fire in Evanston

(CHICAGO) The Evanston Fire Department responded to a house fire in Evanston on Thursday night.

About 9:07 p.m. firefighters arrived to heavy smoke coming from the first floor door of the two-story house. Additional firefighters arrived on scene and were able to extinguish the fire about 10:10 p.m., which had started in the kitchen area of the first floor.

The resident on the building’s first floor was displaced and is being helped by the Red Cross. The two residents on the second floor will not be displaced.

No injuries were immediately reported.

Police: Man sets himself, store on fire during Pilsen festival

Photo | Chicago Fire Media Affairs

(CHICAGO) A man is in custody after he set himself and a store on fire in the Pilsen neighborhood during the Mole de Mayo festival.

About 7:30 p.m., a 33-year-old man set himself and a Metro PCS store at 1527 W. 18th on fire, according to Chicago Police and fire Cmdr. Walter Schroeder.

Two officers were also injured during the commotion, police said. They were taken to University of Illinois Hospital and Health Systems and their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

The man was taken to Stroger Hospital, where his condition was stabilized, police said. Arson charges are pending against him.

The festival was shut down about half an hour before it was scheduled to close because of the fire, a spokeswoman for the festival said. Police helped attendees evacuate without incident.

The store sustained extensive damage before fire was officially struck out at 8:10 p.m., Schroeder said.

Sunday was the last day of the Mole de Mayo festival, which featured food vendors and entertainment along 18th Street near Ashland.

Firefighter hurt, 8 displaced in Wrigleyville blaze

A firefighter was hurt and eight people were displaced by a Wrigleyville fire early Friday. | Fire Media Affairs

(CHICAGO) A fire in the Wrigleyville neighborhood early Friday left a firefighter was hurt and eight people displaced from their homes.

The fire was reported in a 2 1/2 story building in the 1000 block of West Cornelia, according to Fire Media Affairs. The fire started on a rear porch and spread to the building to the south, but was struck out about 5:15 a.m.

One firefighter suffered “minor” injuries, but their hospital information wasn’t disclosed Friday morning. No other injuries were reported.

The fire came less than a week after another porch fire about a mile west left a firefighter injured and 12 buildings damaged. Thirty people were displaced by the blaze that was started by a discarded cigarette.

A fire in the Wrigleyville neighborhood early Friday left a firefighter was hurt and eight people displaced from their homes.

30 displaced, firefighter hurt in extra-alarm blaze in Lake View

(CHICAGO) Thirty people were displaced from their homes and a firefighter was hurt in an extra-alarm blaze that damaged 12 buildings Monday evening in the Lake View neighborhood on the North Side.

The fire began about 5 p.m. on the rear porch of a 2 1/2-story apartment building at 3338 N. Marshfield and spread to 11 surrounding buildings, according to Chicago Fire Department District Chief Dan Cunningham. The fire also downed a few power lines in the area.

One firefighter suffered suffered burns to their arm, according to Fire Media Affairs. They were taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in good condition.

No other injuries were reported, and the residents in all 12 buildings made it out on their own, Cunningham said. The building where the fire began may be a total loss. The American Red Cross was at the scene Monday evening.

The power lines and rush-hour traffic congestion made fighting the blaze difficult, but the fire was struck out about 6 p.m., Cunningham said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but “combustibles” and a steady breeze accelerated the fire, Cunningham said.

A total of 127 firefighters in 41 companies responded to the fire, Cunningham said.

Dozens of onlookers and television news camera crews gathered along the edges of police crime scene tape at the intersection of Roscoe and Marshfield after the fire was struck out.

Mark Hewitt has lived across the street from 3338 N. Marshfield for six years and said emergency crews evacuated his building soon after their arrival. He said he planned to stay at a friend’s home in Edgewater until he was allowed back inside his own home.

He added that the extent of the fire damage was quickly apparent.

“Within 15 minutes, that gray house was completely totaled,” Hewitt said.

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Man charged with murder in fatal Kankakee apartment fire

(KANKAKEE) A 61-year-old man has been charged with murder and arson in connection with a fire that left two young boys dead earlier this month in downstate Kankakee.

Alex Sawyer has been charged with two counts of murder and eight counts of aggravated arson for the April 13 fire that left 2-year-old Ju’shaun Watson and 4-year-old Justice Stewart dead and injured eight others, including three firefighters, according to Kankakee Fire Chief Ron Young.

His court information was not immediately known Tuesday night.

Young said investigators believe the motive for setting the fire was revenge, but did not elaborate further in a statement Tuesday.

The boys were airlifted to the hospitals with severe burns following the fire, which started about 1:45 a.m. April 13 in the rear stairwell of a two-story building in the 800 block of West Station Street, Young said.

When firefighters arrived, they saw smoke billowing from the second floor and residents hanging out windows, Young said.

Ju’shaun was pronounced dead at 12:10 p.m. April 17 at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood; and 4-year-old Justice Stewart died at 3:54 p.m. April 15 at Comer Children’s Hospital, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

An autopsy for Justice on did not rule on cause and manner of death, with results pending further investigation. Autopsy results for Ju’shaun weren’t immediately available.

In addition to the boys, a 65-year-old woman suffered smoke inhalation; a 25-year-old man burned his hands and jumped out of a window; a 22-year-old woman burned her hands; and three others suffered injuries in the fire. Their conditions were stabilized at hospitals, Young said.

Three firefighters were also treated for injuries they suffered while battling the blaze, Young said.

It took crews about an hour and a half to put out the flames. Twenty-two people were displaced, Young said.

Police: Kankakee Fire Was Revenge

By Nick Gale, WLS News

(CHICAGO)  Investigators in Kankakee say a fire last week that left two children dead was purposely set.

Kankakee police say 61-year-old Alex Sawyer is in custody for last week’s apartment fire. He faces two counts of murder and eight counts of aggravated arson.

Eight people were injured in the blaze including three firefighters. A 2-year-old and a 4-year-old died after being hospitalized with injures. The blaze left 20 people homeless.

Investigators say the fire was an act of revenge, but aren’t elaborating.​


@ 2016 WLS-AM News