Woman killed, boy injured in fire near Riverton
A Riverton-area woman was killed and her young son seriously injured in an early-morning fire at their apartment. Brittany J. Sullivan, 24, was pronounced dead about 7:10 a.m. Thursday. An autopsy is scheduled for Friday, the Sangamon County coroner’s office said.
Riverton Fire Chief Louie Rogers said the son woke up his dad about 4:30 a.m. The apartment at 5049 E. Route 36 was full of smoke, but Sullivan’s husband was able to get their son, who is under 10, out of the building through a bedroom window, Rogers said.
“The child has some learning disabilities. He couldn’t just put the kid out the window and leave him,” Rogers said.
The man’s mother lives in another apartment about 75 yards away, so he took the boy to his mother and then went back to the burning apartment to rescue his wife.
“By that time, the window he came out of was engulfed in flames,” Rogers said.
Steve Mably, a neighbor, said he, too, tried to help get Brittany Sullivan out of the apartment, but the smoke was too thick.
“You couldn’t see anything,” Mably said.
1 dead in Woodstock fire
One person was found dead in a fire in northwest suburban Woodstock on Thursday evening. According to the Woodstock Fire Department, the fire was reported at 7:29 p.m. in a single-family home in the 500 block of East Kimball. Firefighters were on the scene within four minutes and found heavy fire consuming the 1 1/2 story wood frame home.
Neighbors had reported that someone was still in the home, but firefighters were not able to reach the victim in time. The identity of the deceased has not been released.
The fire was struck out at 8:25 p.m. No injuries were reported, and the cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
Chicago ambulance, truck collide on Lake Shore Drive
Three people -- including a firefighter and paramedic -- were hurt when an ambulance and truck collided on Lake Shore Drive on the South Side late Tuesday. The crash occurred about 10:40 p.m. near the intersection of Lake Shore and Marquette drives in the Woodlawn neighborhood, officials said.
A paramedic and firefighter were both taken to University of Chicago Medical Center while another person was taken to Jackson Park Hospital. All three suffered "non-life-threatening" injuries, according to emergency crews at the scene.
Northbound traffic was diverted off Lake Shore onto Marquette as crews worked to clear the scene, officials said. Police could not immediately provide additional details.
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Des Plaines officials debate ambulance exhaust pipes
As Des Plaines looks to replace its aging ambulance fleet, aldermen debated recently where -- underneath or above -- an ambulance's exhaust pipe should be located. Like most passenger vehicles, the burnt fuel that powers the near northwest suburb's ambulance engines currently is emitted through exhaust pipes located toward the rear of the cab and underneath the chassis -- referred to at a recent City Council meeting as "horizontal exhaust."
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, those fumes contain pollutants and potentially cancer-causing hydrocarbons.
Given that ambulances frequently idle on the scene of a service call, a horizontal exhaust pipe unnecessarily exposes firefighters and patients to dangerous exhaust fumes, said Ald. Jim Brookman, 5th.
"Anytime you open the door, you introduce fumes into the patient compartment -- on every call," said Brookman, a former Des Plaines firefighter.
Oil container catches fire at Chicago South Side steel plant
An oil container at a large steel plant caught fire this morning on the Far South Side, but firefighters put out the blaze and reported no injuries. The fire started about 4:30 a.m. inside the plant, which has a listed address in the 400 block of West 127th Street and runs three blocks by four blocks.
It was quickly elevated to a still-and-box alarm with a Level 1 hazardous materials response, with firefighters using foam as well as water to battle flames. The fire, which appeared to have started in an oil container, “self-vented” through holes in the roof possibly created by small explosions, Chicago Fire Department Chief Juan Hernandez said.
Workers were inside the plant at the time of the fire, but all managed to leave without incident, Hernandez said. No injuries were reported.
Sherman Fire Department Asks Residents For Tax Increase
The Sherman Fire Department covers about 50 square miles. Firefighters have day jobs, but volunteer their time when a 911 call is placed. Those calls are becoming more frequent and harder to handle without more equipment. Sherman is a village with just under 4,000 residents and a fire department without it's own ambulance. "We had a call just this week where it took 17 minutes for an ambulance to arrive at Andrew which is 2 miles down the road from our fire station. We believe if we had an ambulance here in the fire station we could have been there in two minutes instead of 17," said President of the Board of Trustees for the Sherman Fire Department, Randy Burge. Obtaining their own EMS service is one reason the sherman fire district is asking for a tax hike. An increase of $158 per year for a home at a fair market value of $100,000. That increase would also enhance fire response. "We're asking this so we can staff the station 24/7 with our volunteers and give them a small stipend to do that," said Burge. But some residents say taxes are already too high. They fear the fire department will continue to ask for more.
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