911 Tapes Released From Chicago Air Control Center Fire
Newly-released recordings provide some insight into the first frantic moments on the ground and in the air after a fire broke out at an Aurora Federal Aviation Authority facility Friday. The fire, allegedly intentionally set by contract employee Brian Howard, triggered widespread cancellations and delays at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway international airports, and days later continues to affect air travel.
The first call to Aurora's 911 center, from a person who identified himself as "Ivan," gives little indication of how serious the fire inside the FAA facility on East Indian Trail Road was or how much damage it was doing to the sensitive computers and telecommunications inside.
Authorities: Blowtorch likely cause of Elk Grove building fire
A fire in an Elk Grove Village condominium building was likely sparked late Tuesday afternoon by a construction crew using a blowtorch to solder water pipes together, authorities said.
The fire ignited about 5:30 p.m. on the first floor of a building in the Terrace of Elk Grove Village condo complex, 920 Ridge Square. It spread through the walls to the second and third floors, but firefighters were able to prevent it from going any further by stopping it before it reached the attic and roof, according to Fire Chief Richard Mikel. Mikel said the condo building has a mansard roof, distinguished by its layers of wood shingles, and if ablaze would be "very difficult to fight."
"They need a lot of water and a lot of people," Mikel said. "We got ahead of it based on bad experiences with this type of building."
Police officers were first to arrive on scene just after 5:30 p.m., and with smoke filling the hallways of all three floors, began evacuating residents. After firefighters arrived, it took about 45 minutes to bring the fire under control, Mikel said.
Illinois Daily Herald
Colchester Fire Protection District proposes new tax hike
Emergency response crews in the Colchester Fire Protection District could arrive at your house less equipped for the job. That's why Crista Rigg with the Colchester Fire Protection District says the district is putting a new ambulance tax on the November ballot. It calls for a 40 cent tax per $100 of assessed value on real-estate.
Rigg says the extra revenue would generate over $100,000 a year to help maintain the current services.
"The people, they expect to receive an ambulance to come right away with EMT people and all of the equipment," Rigg said. "If we can't afford to buy that, then maybe a fire truck shows up with a person with a medical kit, rather than an ambulance that can help them."
The Fire District will hold an informational meeting on the issue Wednesday at 7 p.m. at West Prairie South Elementary School in Colchester.
Former Morton Grove fire chief dies
Morton Grove recently lost a notable citizen whose great-grandparents were among the original farm families who settled in the village in the 1840s. Fred N. “Ike” Huscher, 92, who served as the village’s fire chief from 1975 to 1980, passed away Sept. 18, leaving his 92-year-old wife, Doris, sons Fred and Steven, two daughters-in-law, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren and other relatives.
Morton Grovers recalled Huscher as a man who enjoyed and shared a deep knowledge of the town’s history, partly because his own family had played a part in it.
“The Huschers are a true pioneering family of Morton Grove,” said Melissa D’Lando, curator of the Morton Grove Historical Society.
Fred N.’s great-grandparents emigrated from Asche, Germany in 1842, stayed briefly in New York and then came to the Chicago area, choosing to settle Morton Grove for its good farmland, D’Lando said.
An 1890s photo of the Huscher and Sonne families at “Huscher’s woods” in Morton Grove showed Fred N.’s father, Fred L. Huscher, as a boy. The photo is published in “Images of America: Morton Grove,” by Mary Busch and Tim Mayse-Lillig for the Morton Grove Historical Society (Arcadia Press, 2013).
Fred L. Huscher married Clara Haupt, who grew up in the Haupt-Yehl House, which now houses the Morton Grove Historical Society.
Morton Grove Champion
New K-9 for Carbondale Fire Department
The Carbondale Fire Department gained a new member Tuesday night. Kermit the dog was officially sworn in at the city council meeting this evening. He is a two-year-old lab-golden retriever mix and he'll help firefighters with arson investigations.
"He helps investigators locate those accelerants faster and provide better quality samples for our agency in a shorter amount of time," says Carbondale K-9 handler Jay Crippen.
"The confirmation rate climbs dramatically when you're using a dog," adds Fire Cheif John Michalesko.
Kermit is the the Carbondale Fire Department's third arson dog. They started using K-9's back in 1997.
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