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Friday, March 27, 2015
One person taken to hospital, dog killed after Springfield home catches fire    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Authorities say a woman who was home when a fire broke Thursday afternoon will be OK, but her dog died in the blaze. Springfield firefighters were called to the single-story home at 1818 Brian Lane at 3:23 p.m. Fire Chief Ken Fustin said firefighters arrived and found the home engulfed in flames and a woman outside. The woman had escaped the flames but showed signs of smoke inhalation and was taken to the hospital to be treated, Fustin said. The blaze caused extensive damage to the home before it was extinguished in about 30 minutes. Fustin said investigators are still determining what caused the fire, and he declined to speculate on whether any foul play was involved. Brian Lane is on Springfield's east side, just south of Laurel Street and east of Gregory Court.
Springfield State Journal-Register

SUV partially hangs from bridge after T-bone accident in Plainfield    view comments tweat me share on facebook
VIDEO: An accident left a SUV partially hanging over the guardrail of a bridge in Plainfield. Two cars were involved in a T-bone type accident on Renwick Rd near the Stevenson Expressway. Two people were transported to hospitals with serious injuries, according to the Plainfield fire chief. This is a developing story. Check back for details.
WGN-TV 9 WB Chicago

McLean County voters to determine governance, ambulance tax rates    view comments tweat me share on facebook
Voters in three areas of McLean County will decide issues related to home rule and public support for rural ambulance districts when they go to the voting booth April 7. In the village of McLean, voters will decide if the village should become a home rule unit. The designation allows local governments to expand their capabilities to make decisions on certain issues. Changes available under home rule include the form of government and fines that may be charged for some offenses. Voters covered by the Allin Township Fire Protection District will be asked to approve a tax levy to support ambulance service. The tax would not exceed 40 cents per $100 equalized assessed valuation. The tax for the fire protection district, based in Stanford, would establish a district to help cover the costs of emergency services to township residents. In support of the referendum, the district cites a 44 percent increase in call volume in 2014 and necessary equipment upgrades. The fire department budget is 46 percent less than the average for rural fire districts in McLean County, according to fire district data. A similar ballot question faces voters in the Northern Piatt Fire Protection District. Voters in the Mansfield-based fire protection district will be asked to support a special tax with a maximum of 40 cents per $100 equalized assessed valuation.
Bloomington-Normal Pantagraph

Mobile Home Goes Up In Flames In Franklin    view comments tweat me share on facebook
A mobile home is destroyed after an overnight fire in Franklin. The Franklin fire chief says firefighters were called around 2 a.m. Thursday to the 700 block of Dahnman Road. He says the home was completely engulfed in flames when they arrived. According to the Morgan County Sheriff's office, no one was home at the time of the fire. The cause is still under investigation.
WICS-TV Springfield ABC Channel 20

Thursday, March 26, 2015
Ambulance calls in Oregon fire district average 665 a year   view comments tweat me share on facebook
The handful of people who turned out Tuesday evening for a referendum meeting learned that ambulances have answered an average of 655 calls per year in the Oregon Fire District for the last 10 years. Fire department EMT Coordinator Chad Bergstrom said the number of calls in the district has ranged from 580 to 730 per year over the last decade. He said he expects the number to reach 800 per year. Bergstrom was on hand to answer questions, along with Marie Tilly and Lindsey Breeden, at the last of several meetings to provide information about a referendum that will be on the April 7 ballot. The meeting was hosted by the Friends of the Oregon Fire Department, which is headed up by Tilly and Breeden. The referendum will ask fire district voters if they want a tax-supported ambulance service associated with the Oregon Fire Department. Tilly said the proposed ambulance service will be full-time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Oregon resident Fran Strouse asked how many full-time ambulance employees would be hired if the referendum passes. Tilly said six full-time emergency medical technicians (EMTs) will likely be employed. Some volunteers with EMT training will also be available from time to time.

Science classroom fire causes evacuation of Elmhurst middle school   view comments tweat me share on facebook
A “chemical reaction” caused a small fire in a science classroom at a west suburban middle school Wednesday morning, causing a lot of smoke and about $11,000 in damage, but no injuries. The Elmhurst Fire Department was called about 9:45 a.m. to an activated fire alarm at Sandburg Middle School at 345 E. St. Charles Rd., a statement from the department said. Firefighters found “heavy smoke coming from a science classroom located on the lower level,” though the fire had already been doused by the school’s sprinkler system, the statement said. All students and staff were evacuated from the building as firefighters ventilated the area, replaced a sprinkler head and cleaned up. A fire department investigation showed a chemical reaction had triggered the fire, though no students were present in the classroom at the time. No injuries were reported. The damage, estimated at $11,000, was limited to ceiling tiles, classroom supplies and audio-video equipment, the statement said.
Chicago Sun-Times

West Frankfort Toughens Rules for Open Burns   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Rules on burning debris and hosting a bonfire are now more strict in West Frankfort. "People we're burning anything from wire, to couches, to tires. This allows us to stop that," said West Frankfort Fire Chief Jody Allen. The move comes after a string of out of control open burns in the area over the weekend. The city has passed an ordinance during a council meeting Tuesday with more regulations on where, what and how much debris you can burn. "I see controlled burns by private land owners that get away and will burn thousands and thousands of acres," said Mark Cazier, a natural resource specialist at Rend Lake. Allen wants to get ahead of a crisis like this. Restrictions on ceremonial fires and bonfires for things like a religious ceremony, a pep rally or similar purposes get tougher. These activities now require a $5 permit from the fire department and an on site safety inspection with a fire official. The amounts of burn material cannot exceed 12ft in diameter and 5ft in height for bonfires. All fires must be monitored and at least 50 feet from any structures or combustible materials (e.g. fences, houses, garages). The rules bar residents from burning manmade materials, like tires or roof shingles. The old laws "basically allowed people to burn whatever they wanted," Allen said. The city wants open fires out by dusk, but small recreational fires can burn until 11 p.m. The rules give fire officials more leeway.

Aurora looks to buy land for 10th fire station   view comments tweat me share on facebook
Aurora is looking to buy land on the northeast side for its 10th fire station. The plan is for Fire Station 10 to be on land at Nan Street and Bilter Road, just to the west of the entrance to the new parking lot and expanded area of the Chicago Premium Outlets mall. "We've been keeping our eyes open for a while for a site in that location," said Fire Chief John Lehman. The City Council's Finance Committee this week recommended a contract to purchase the land. It still needs to pass the Committee of the Whole and full City Council. Lehman told the committee the Fire Department gets about 500 calls in the area near the mall, and it will only increase, "especially with future development coming in." rora is looking to buy land on the northeast side for its 10th fire station. Alderman Robert O'Connor, at large, asked what happens on days when the Outlet Mall traffic "is blowing up" and emergency vehicles need to be on the move. Lehman said the department considered that when looking at the site. "There's a good location to enter the back side of the property," he said.
Chicago Tribune

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