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Tuesday, September 2, 2014
One Dead, Four Injured After House Explosion In Streator    view comments tweat me share on facebook
An elderly woman was killed overnight when her home was leveled by an explosion in southwest suburban LaSalle County. CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports the woman’s son also was in the home at the time, but survived. The explosion was reported around 11:30 p.m. at a home on Court Street near Little Street in Streator. One home was destroyed in the blast, and flames spread to two neighboring houses. An 82-year-old woman who lived in the home that exploded was killed in the blast, but her body has not yet been recovered from under the rubble. Her son was in the back of the house, which was not as severely damaged, and he survived the explosion. Neighbors who live blocks away said their homes were rattled by the blast. “I heard a big bang, … felt the house rumble and shake, and thought it was just a crack of lightning or thunder,” Scott Vogel said. “I got up and looked out the bedroom window, and it seemed like something on fire across the street by that house, and I said, ‘That’s on fire.’” “The couch shook, and it shook really bad. My dog ran in a circle. I went to the front door, and there was huge flames,” neighbor Kathy Lanphier said. “The house was flat, instantly.” The explosion set off fires that damaged two neighboring homes, one of which was gutted by flames. Three firefighters who responded to the initial 911 call were injured, but have since been treated and released from hospitals. Two of them returned to the scene of the fire to put out hot spots.
CBS Chicago

Firefighters Battle Blaze in Evanston, "Several Cars" on Fire    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Firefighters battled a large blaze in suburban Evanston late Sunday afternoon. Large clouds of black smoke and flames were seen shooting into the sky from North Shore Towing at 2527 Oakton St. just after 4 p.m. Sunday, officials said. Fire officials said several cars were on fire and Oakton Street was shut down between Dodge and McCormick. Firefighters managed to get the blaze under control quickly but were still battling the flames about an hour later. Several area fire agencies were called to the scene and were expected to remain at the scene for “some time,” officials said. The blaze took place near a popular strip mall and Home Depot in the area. “I saw black smoke when I came outside and I heard like little explosions like ‘boom, boom,’” said Home Depot employee Junior Wright. “It’s burning my eyes a little bit still.” The blaze caused a power outage at the Home Depot and prompted a precautionary evacuation of the building, according to employee Robert Saucedo.
NBC Chicago

Northbrook and Prospect Heights Fire Departments Look At Land Swap    view comments tweat me share on facebook
A plan to disconnect 25 homes from Prospect Hts. Fire Protection District territory is part of a larger land swap deal in the works, the Journal & Topics has learned. Two public hearings are planned for October regarding a proposal to turn the homes over to Northbrook Rural Fire District control. In return, the Prospect Hts. Fire Protection District would add to its tax rolls property along Sanders Road south of Willow now in Northbrook Rural’s coverage area, according to Prospect Hts. Fire Chief Donald Gould. An apartment development was proposed on eight acres along Sanders late last year, but was rejected by the city after much debate. City officials, however, still have their eye on one day redeveloping close to 30 acres of land south of Willow owned by Allstate Insurance. Allstate’s headquarters are across Sanders Road in unincorporated Northbrook. As part of the land swap, Northbrook Rural would take control of nearly 25 properties in the Forest View Estates subdivision east of Portwine Road north of Dundee.
Journal & Topics Newspapers Online

Fire at Evonik plant in Mapleton reportedly under control    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Volunteer firefighters are in high demand, but that's not the biggest challenge rural counties face. It's not so much the numbers, but being available when the call comes in. Lewis County as a whole only has volunteer fire departments. So if there’s a fire in Maywood and no one is available, you could wait over 30 minutes for someone to put out the flames. Bryan Jennings has been a volunteer fire fighter for the past 10 to 15 years. "During the days, we don't have a whole lot of manpower, I think we have 30 something people on the roster, but during the day we may be down to five or six people," Jennings said. This is the number one challenge that volunteer firefighters are facing in rural counties. As volunteers, they are un-paid which means they have to also work a job that pays the bills. So when there's a fire between 9 and 5, finding someone to put it out, can be extremely difficult. “Some of us are able to take off without pay, some of us can take off, it just depends on your job and where you're at," Jennings said.
Peoria Journal Star

Friday, August 29, 2014
Chicago: At least 13 injured including an off-duty firefighter, after shuttle bus crash at O’Hare   view comments tweat me share on facebook
At least 13 people, including an off-duty firefighter, were injured after a shuttle bus was involved in a crash near O'Hare International Airport, clogging traffic heading to one of the terminals at the start of the busy Labor Day travel period. The crash occurred about 6:35 a.m. in the westbound lanes on I-190 about a half-mile from the entrance to Terminal 1, O'Hare spokeswoman Karen Pride and police said, citing preliminary information. A Fire Media Affairs spokesman said the bus crashed into a concrete median that separated lanes headed toward arrival and departure terminals. Pride said the bus was not one of the shuttles operated by the airport. Fire Media Affairs spokesman Larry Langford says 13 people were taken to local hospitals after 10 ambulances were summoned. Four people in serious to critical condition were taken to Luther General Hospital in Park Ridge and Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. The rest were taken to Resurrection Medical Center and Swedish Covenant Hospital, Fire Media Affairs said.

Off-duty Evanston paramedic delivers own baby on Edens Expressway   view comments tweat me share on facebook
An off-duty paramedic delivered his own baby on the Edens Expressway Friday morning. The father — who also works as a paramedic — was in a vehicle heading northbound on I-94 near the Touhy Avenue exit when he stopped the car about 4:30 a.m. to deliver his own baby, according to Lincolnwood police and Illinois State Troopers. Officials could not immediately say if the baby was a boy or girl, but added that the family was OK.

Waukegan trains first set of citizen emergency responders   view comments tweat me share on facebook
In the first example of what is expected to become a regular occurrence, Waukegan Fire Department officials hosted a graduation ceremony this week for residents who completed training to form a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Fire Chief Ricco Farrell said a total of 19 participants tackled the 10-week course, which covered basic disaster response skills such as fire safety, light search-and-rescue techniques, team organization, and disaster medical operations. “This is something where we’re utilizing citizens in disaster situations where they can [begin] the process of responding,” Farrell said. “Let’s say, for instance, we have a tornado. These citizens are trained in doing emergency preparation to assess who needs emergency assistance and in search-and-rescue. “It’s not to the [level] of the fire service, but it’s something where they can begin the process before the fire department gets there or when the fire department is tasked with other responsibilities.” The training was the first of its kind for the Waukegan Fire Department and, similar to Waukegan’s Citizens Police Academy, was a free course that trained citizen volunteers.
Lake County News Sun

Woman, dogs escape fire in Mitchell   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Members of the Hall family saved their lives and their dogs but lost their home Thursday morning after a fire started in an unoccupied room and spread through the roof and down a wall to the basement. “I just hope all my baby pictures and so forth can be saved. You can replace a television, appliances and so forth, but the memorabilia are irreplaceable,” said Sharon Hall of 5429 Old Alton Rd. She and her husband, Dennis Hall, were watching as fire fighters from three departments sprayed water on the blaze, which was still coming through the roof more than an hour after the fire was discovered just before 10 a.m. The fire, along with the spray from the hoses created a huge cloud of smoke and steam as the family waited just outside the home.
Alton Telegraph

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