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Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Chicago firefighters hand out free smoke detectors after fatal fire    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Chicago firefighters are handing out free smoke detectors Monday on the city's Southwest Side, where two people died in a fire over the weekend. The fire broke out early Saturday in the 5200-block of S. Lorel in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood. A 63-year-old man and a 28-year old man were both killed. Investigators believe the fire was intentionally set.
WLS-TV ABC 7 Chicago

Carthage pizza restaurant damaged in Sunday night fire    view comments tweat me share on facebook
A Carthage business owner hopes to reopen after a Sunday night fire. "We hope so, yes, to reopen, but it depends how things go," said Santina Alfano, who owns Alfano's Pizza in Carthage. "I'm just kind of waiting right now, talking to insurance companies, the fire marshal, seeing what to do. We don't know what to do yet." Firefighters were called at 10 p.m. Sunday to the restaurant at 530 Wabash and found the kitchen area of the building "fully involved," Fire Chief Eric Shuman said. "The kitchen and the rear of the building are a total loss." Shuman met with the state fire marshal Monday morning to determine whether the building was safe and to try to determine the cause. "We're going to call it electrical," Shuman said. "We took a lot of pictures, went through everything. We saw a lot more during (the day) than at night." Alfano and her three children, who live in an apartment above the restaurant, escaped the building without injury. "We saw smoke coming upstairs," she said. "We just walked out." Safely outside, she watched as fire burned through part of her business, leaving her with a lot of decisions to make for the future. "There's not a kitchen anymore," she said. The restaurant was not open for business at the time of the fire. Alfano's opened in November and served lunch and supper Monday through Saturday. "We're keeping our fingers crossed that insurance will cover everything, and they will be able to get it all cleaned up and reopened ... in that location," said Amy Graham, director of Carthage Community Development. "It was just a lovely little restaurant."
Quincy Herald-Whig

Cooking fire destroys Pekin residence    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Cooking oil left unattended on a stove ignited to spread a fire that destroyed a duplex residence on the city’s south side Saturday evening. Neither of the two people home at the time was injured in the flash fire at 1332 El Camino Drive, Fire Chief Kurt Nelson said Monday. The residence is owned by Jeff Hornecker, he said. A woman was heating oil on the kitchen stove while she also cooked on a grill on the home’s backyard patio at about 6 p.m., Nelson said. While she was outside the oil caught fire, sending flames flashing through the kitchen and into the home’s front room. Firefighters knocked the flames down in about 20 minutes after their arrival, but not before they caused about $75,000 in damages.
Pekin Daily Times

Monday, August 31, 2015
2 dead in ’suspicious’ fire in Chicago’s Garfield Ridge neighborhood   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Officials are investigating a suspicious fire in which two men died Saturday morning on the city's Southwest Side. According to police, the fire broke out shortly before 10 a.m. at a structure on the 5200 block of South Lorel Avenue in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood, according to Officer Janel Sedevic, a Chicago police spokeswoman. Sedevic said two men were discovered unresponsive inside the building. 2 dead in suspicious fire on Southwest Side Chicago Police Department arson detectives are investigating a suspicious fire in which two men died in the morning Aug. 29, 2015, on the city's Southwest Side. (Marwa Eltagouri / Chicago Tribune) The two men, ages 63 and 28, were the only people in the house at the time, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford. A child also lived in the single-family home, he said, but had stayed somewhere else overnight. The younger man was identified on Sunday by the Cook County medical examiner's office as Joseph Vela. The identity of the older man has not been released pending notification of his family. An autopsy conducted on both men on Sunday was inconclusive, according to the office. Firefighters responded to the scene after receiving several calls from neighbors. They arrived within three minutes and weren't able to gain entry right away, said Chief Paul Foertsch, a district chief with the department.
Chicago Tribune

Firefighter injured battling Silvis house fire   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A firefighter is recovering in the hospital after stepping on a live wire while battling a house fire in Silvis Friday evening. A call came in around 5:30 p.m. of a house on fire at 14th Street and 5th Avenue in Silvis. At least four fire departments responded. Local 4 News is told no one was home at the time of the fire. The family is on vacation in Florida, and has been informed their house won't be livable for awhile. However, the home is not considered a total loss. Approximately $60,000 of damage to the house is estimated, mostly to the exterior. Two cars were totaled. An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.
WHBF-TV Rock Island Eyewitness News 4

’Devastating’: Blaze Tears Through Historic Chicago Bowling Alley   view comments tweat me share on facebook
One of Chicago’s oldest bowling alleys, Lincoln Square Lanes, was engulfed in flames early Monday morning on the city’s North Side. Fire officials said the three-alarm blaze started around 1 a.m. in the 4800 block of North Lincoln Avenue. The fire started on the second floor of the historic building, which featured the newly remodeled bowling alley on the second floor and a hardware store on the first floor. The roof of the venue collapsed in the flames. At one point, a mayday was called for a missing firefighter, but fire officials said that firefighter was later accounted for and was looked at at the scene. "Shortly after that elevation of the alarm, there was a report of a firefighter missing," said Deputy Fire Commissioner Anthony Vasquez. "A mayday alarm was called at that time. They thought a member was missing but he was just unaccounted for and safe." Two firefighters were hospitalized with minor injuries, according to Chief Juan Reyes.
NBC Chicago

Resident pulled from burning garage in Colona   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A man narrowly escaped injury Sunday when a detached garage caught fire in Colona. Witnesses say the fire started around 11:30 am in the 400 block of Maple Street. The owner of the house was in the back part of the garage, working on his tractor, when the front caught fire, according to witnesses- that's when the man's wife and two neighbors pulled him away from the flames and across the street, to safety. "[I] Heard a lound boom and saw a bunch of smoke coming from the garage across the street, flames were coming out of the garage door and off the roof and everything. And he was just on the ground at the back of the garage. So we grabbed him and carried him around the house and carried him across the street," sais Jim Haley, a witness.
WHBF-TV Rock Island Eyewitness News 4

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