Extra-Alarm Fire in High Rise on West Oak Street Near Moody Bible Institute — Jenkins Hall


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Jenkins Hall, 171 West Oak Street, Chicago, Illinois (Google Street View).

Chicago Fire Department fought a fire that was elevated to a four-alarm fire about 12:30 a.m. Sunday at Jenkins Hall, 171 West Oak Street in Chicago. A fire crew reported heavy black smoke on the 12th floor about 12:15 a.m. Sunday. The building is a 14 or 15-story residential building just north of Moody Bible Institute. The fire was reported by automatic alarm at 12:12 a.m. Sunday.

Also, a fireground report was heard that multiple electrical vaults in the building were on fire or arcing. Several electrical vaults from the sixth floor up were ‘popping off’ — apparently arcing and smoking. Firefighters responding on the four-alarm fire were ordered to bring Ansul fire extinguishers to the lobby of the building.

An EMS Plan I was called out for extra paramedic rescue ambulances to the scene. Many residents were confined safely to their rooms, and some evacuated residents were given a resting area at 930 North Wells Street. At least one woman was transported to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with shortness of breath, and another was transported after becoming exhausted during evacuation.

Com Ed responded to the scene, and was requested to expedite their response. Power was shut off to the entire building just after 1:00 a.m.

Smoke was still heavy on floors 6-8 and firefighters were being warned to watch the street for falling glass from window breaking for ventilation. Smoke on the upper floors was starting to become light at about 12:50 a.m. Both elevators became inoperable because of water in the elevator shafts. The fires in all building electrical vaults on each floor were reported to be extinguished at about 1:25 a.m.

The 4-11 alarm was struckout and the EMS Plan I was secured at 1:53 a.m. Sunday.

ANSUL is a manufacturer of portable fire extinguishers and fire suppression systems from Marinette, Wisconsin. Some fire extinguishers are manufactured to discharge an electrically non-conductive material.

Jenkins Hall, according to the Moody Bible Institute website, offers apartment housing to married-student couples without dependents. However, elderly residents were being assisted at the building. The building is also listed as a 14-story apartment building.

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