Heat Makes for 'Challenging' 3-Alarm Fire Battle
Several fire districts, including Lemont, responded to a Fourth of July fire at a town home in Orland Park's Silverlake Village.
Firefighters from multiple area departments helped battle an hourlong three-alarm blaze Wednesday afternoon in a four-unit Orland Park town home 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 and Lemont firefighters responded to a home at 15035 Mayo Dr. in Orland around 3:30 p.m. on the Fourth of July. 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 safely rescue to her, Brucki said. One Orland Park firefighter was treated for a heat-related injury at the scene and later taken 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 know the cause of the fire Wednesday evening.
"The initial company performed an aggressive interior attack, but was unable to contain the fire in the attic," he said.
Flames then spread to an east unit and those responding there were able to contain the fire, he added.
"All the companies did a phenomenal job, given the conditions," Brucki said.
The chief called battling the fire "extremely challenging."
"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 blaze, with demand 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 Mokena, Frankfort, North Palos, Oak Forest and Lemont, helped in Wednesday's emergency.
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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