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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.

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 .

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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Donald Piscitello July 06, 2012 at 12:04 AM
To Mr Joe , As a 32 year firefighter your comment about roofers, black toppers and construction men operating jack hammers nauseates me to no end !!! I have done the other three jobs and believe me that they are a walk in the park compared to fighting a fire in extreme heat . Some people just do not get it ! so ,I will spell it out for you Joe .The difference is total encapsulation of heavy turnout coat ,bunker pants boots ,with a nomex hood ,gloves and then an air pack harness with cylinder tank weighing approximately 70 lbs for starters. Now pull hose ,force doors by swinging a 16 lb sledge hammer dragging hose filled with water and 120 lbs of pressure at the tip that will knock you over ! Hard to handle by one person. (not a garden hose Joe ) Now your heart is at maximum rate(180) and sustain that for a long period of time !! You do not take a coffee break for 10-15 minutes when you are in a basement fire at 1,000 -1,500 degrees !! Which you have no clue to what it feel likes Joe . Heat so hot it just knocks you to the floor . Then start pull ceiling and walls etc. I can go on and on Joe but hopefully you get the drift . Tomorrow I challenge you to put your winter jacket and snowmobile pants on with a back pack filled with 50 lbs of weights . Carry a 28 foot extension ladder by yourself and raised it to your roof ,climb and cut 4ft by 4ft holes with an 16 lb axe ,then post an apology to all the firefighters that you have insulted !!!! Don from Chicago Il
frank July 06, 2012 at 02:08 AM
To Don P, Every job has inherent joys and dangers associated with them. Training and simulation are only a preparation for the unexpected. Injury, health problems, and even death are issues everyone faces in their daily lives. To minimize the chances of dire consequences we usually seek occupations relatively suited to our personal physical and mental abilities. I don't know a policeman or fireman that didn't know what their jobs entailed. I do know that they love their families, job, and thoughts of a nice retirement. I have also noticed that they don't go around telling me and others how hard the job is or that I couldn't do the job they perform. First of all, I like many others, would probably tell them to quit and find another job if this one is too difficult. Nor, not to antagonize them, would I suggest that their work schedules are suited to secondary employment or that they are overpaid. I am assuming that you are retired because you are not listed on the current City of Chicago payroll provided by the Mayor. If I am correct, I wish you a happy retirement. Unfortunately the OFPD has so many problems that need correction, a structure fire fire is not going to solve them. There are many more people like (mr.joe) and myself that are NOT HAPPY with these problems. <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Donald Piscitello July 06, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Retired yes ,and I am sorry for your issues . Your problem ,not mine. I was only trying to paint the picture for you office guys .I am done wasting my time with people who are perfectly happy being miserable . Good luck and bye bye !
Donald Piscitello July 08, 2012 at 03:32 PM
No apology yet ? I have heard the same lame comments for many years ! "Inherent dangers associated with the job" " You chose the Job " "Quit and get another job " "You knew what you were getting into " etc .Save it !Nothing but babbling rhetoric blah blah blah used when there is no real substance for a valid argument !! I read your post 3 times and I am still confused, with exception to yet another low blow shot at FF's for secondary employment. I know your type ! You and your other buddy are chronic whining cry babies who complain about anything and everything ! You and the other joker should be ashamed of yourselves for bashing real men that protect and serve you . Just absolutely mind boggling to me ! 1.2 million ff in U.S with 70% being volunteer.ONLY 276,000 are career union professional in the entire country! FF/PM committed and dedicated to a career of non stop training ,continued education and each member having 10-25 thousands runs of real life experience !Orland and surrounding depts fall into the 276,00 career union professionals group.You are a recipient of the finest Firefighters/Paramedics and equipment in the world !!!!! Yet you still complain and cry poor me ? Be grateful for the greatest Public servants willing to give you their all in a moments notice! Now,man up and apologize to all the Fire Fighters that you continue to attack . Throttle it back ,get professional help and a hobby . Stop bashing the good guys ! Shame on you both !!!!!!!!
Tammy July 30, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Well said Don!

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