Heat Causes 'Challenging' Battle of 3-Alarm House Blaze
An Orland Park firefighter was treated on scene for a heat-related injury in the fire in a four-unit townhome in the 15000 block of Mayo Drive in Orland Park's Silverlake Village. Authorities have not yet determined a cause.
Firefighters from multiple area jurisdictions battled a three-alarm blaze for an hour Wednesday, July 4, in a four-unit townhome that officials said would have been easier to get under control if not for the extreme heat and drought conditions.
Orland Park Fire Protection District firefighters responded to a home at 15035 Mayo Dr. at about 3:30 p.m. The house was involved in "heavy fire" by the time authorities got on scene, said Chief Ken Brucki.
There was one woman in the home, and firefighters were able to rescue to safety, Brucki said. One Orland Park firefighter was treated for a heat-related injury at the scene and later transported to a hospital.
"We got the call for fire on the exterior of the home, on the second floor porch," Brucki explained. The fire ultimately engulfed the attic of the unit.
Brucki did not immediately have a cause for the fire, which took about an hour to get under control.
"The initial company performed an aggressive interior attack, but was unable to contain the fire in the attic," he said. The fire then spread to the unit to the east and the company that responded to that area were able to contain the blaze in that unit, he added.
"All the companies did a phenomenal job, given the conditions," Brucki said.
The chief said it was "extremely challenging" to battle the fire.
"I can't give an estimate of how much time could have been saved, but the (conditions) definitely contributed to the length of time and how long firefighters were able to be encapsulated," Brucki said.
He also said firefighters had some trouble getting water to the fire, with the demand for water being so high in the recent drought-like conditions.
"We were challenged with the system; that's not to say it's not a good system," Brucki said.
Firefighters from several neighboring municipalities, including Tinley Park, Mokena, Frankfort, North Palos, Oak Forest and Lemont, helped with the fire. Linda Higgins of Aurora, who was visiting her mother when the fire started, said she counted responders from 19 different departments.
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