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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frank July 05, 2012 at 04:23 AM
I guess that re- reading this article too many times has caused a prompt to ask how I feel and to make a comment. So here, nineteen different departments, including Frankfort, Mokena, etc. Getting water because of drought conditions, good thing the fire didn't occur between 7-11 sprinkling hours. That's a lot of firefighters for what the pictures show. What happens if we have two house fires and two car accidents within the same thirty minute time period? What type of money do we pay these other departments that respond? What kind of money does Orland receive when our Haz-mat trucks respond to other communities? <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
mr.joe July 05, 2012 at 04:39 AM
they had a heavy fire-extreme heat-aggressive interior attack-extremely challenging..this guy talks like it was 100 homes on fire..19 fire departments respond to a house fire? . total waste of man power. . tomarrow its going to be 100 again and guys will be roofin houses-laying blacktop-running a jack hammer etc and what will these firemen be doing? watching tv at the air condition fire housr. wow.
frank July 05, 2012 at 04:54 AM
Your right Mr.joe Just watch, Thursday will bring out the OFPD PR staff spin on this fire. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.
Truth Hurts July 05, 2012 at 07:09 AM
You don't pay for the other departments to respond it's called mutual aid, it's a agreement between departments to help your surrounding communitys. So what your saying is you can put a price tag on the lives of these heros? Shame on you. Maybe you should put the fire gear on and do it yourself, I'm sure you wouldn't last 5 seconds before running out! I hope you never need these lazy firefighter's and make them get up from watching tv in the air conditioned fire house, but don't worry they will be there to risk their lives for you and your loved ones
Ben Feldheim (Editor) July 05, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Frank, TH is right about not paying mutual aid. No town pays for the assistance. Also, one of the points of mutual aid is to help when an area has multiple accidents or fires.
Jim Gannon July 05, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Wow, some firefighter bashing? I can not think of a more dangerous career than firefighter. To battle those structure fires is an intense challenge. You can never predict when firefighters will be needed. I'm just glad to have them available, with or without air conditioning!
Peanut July 05, 2012 at 02:30 PM
As I watched firemen dripping in sweat battling this fire, risking their lives to save people's homes, I would have no problem if they were sitting in air conditioning and watching television. For the record, they are not, they are currently back at the scene investigating the cause. I take offense to your comment as the way things seem are not always the way things are. Unless you are willing to run into a burning building instead of posting on the computer from your air conditioned home then I suggest you keep such comments to yourself.
Rose DeVries July 05, 2012 at 03:52 PM
You people bashing firemen, I'm sure the police are on you list too. Maybe you can call a politician to help you the next time you need help. Or maybe a reporter.
Patch Reader July 05, 2012 at 05:49 PM
If people would stop pushing to reduce the size and manning of the fire departments (taking guys off of rigs, browning out stations/companies) then 19 departments wouldn't have to respond. When some communities only have 2-3 firefighters on a rig instead of 3 or more it becomes pretty hard to try and mediate a large fire like this one.
Megan James July 05, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Actually mr.joe & frank - I find your comments very disappointing. I highly doubt the residents in those townhomes agree with you either. If my home was on fire like this, I would be so happy to see every fire department and fire fighter who showed up to help! Not a fan of the current OP Fire District Board and I questions a lot of useless spending that goes on in Orland. But when it comes to doing the job they were meant to do, then I have no problem. mr.joe - The comment about sitting inside watching tv in the ac...really???? Really??? I know many roofers, black toppers who sit inside watching tv in the ac if there isn't a job for them...but they also get to go home at night. These firefighters don't get to go home at night like they do. And others are on call. Never heard of a roofer or black topper who had to get called to a job in the middle of the night. So please....before you knock the job that these fire fighters did...may I suggest you stick to comparing apples to apples, and not oranges. frank - used to see things from your point of view - but lately...not so much. There is not one possible spin that could be placed on this story. It was a horrible fire and they worked hard to put it out. So don't knock the firefighters hard work just because you're frustrated with the board, who don't actually fight the fires. Thanks
Arthur Huff July 05, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Very good thing it didn't happen between 7-11pm...ya know, those 4 hours when villages force half of the population to water at the same time instead of randomly when they otherwise would.
Ben Feldheim (Editor) July 05, 2012 at 10:54 PM
Just a reminder that comments with curses will be removed. Thanks.
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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