Extra Alarm Fire in High Winds Destroys Block-Long Lake Motel in Chicago

VIDEO: Motel fire at 91st and Stony Island in Chicago showing ventilation, searches, ladder truck operations, and much handline work at extra alarm fire in high winds. Videographer: Todd Sherman Northern Illinois FireGround Photos

Chicago police, firefighters and paramedics responded just before 3:45 a.m. Saturday to a major fire at the Lake Motel, 9100 block of South Stony Island Avenue. The fire was elevated to a 2-11 and then a 3-11 or 3rd alarm.

At least seven people were transported to Level I Trauma Center Advocate Christ Medical Center Advocate Trinity Hospital or Jackson Park Hospital with minor injuries from the early morning fire that destroyed a motel in the Calumet Heights neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side.

One firefighter was taken to Level I Trauma Center Advocate Christ Medical Center in fair-to-serious condition.

The fire was reported in two units when firefighters arrived on the scene. High winds fanned the fire that extended to the cockloft of the building. Winds according to the National Weather service were about 22 MPH and gusting to 33 MPH from the North between 4:00 to 5:00 AM. The fire started in a north room, which combined with high winds and created the perfect storm for an extra alarm fire that pushed southward through 62 rooms as firefighters tried to stop it with defensive operations.

Fire command declared the blaze under control just before 8:45 a.m.

Although earlier reports cited online directories listing the Seville Motel at the motel’s address, a current city of Chicago business license and the sign at the motel call it the Lake Motel.

The 62-room motel does not rent by the week or month and is just a regular nightly motel, according to manager Dipak Patel. The fire started in Room 109, near the north end of the nearly block-long, two-story building, and swept through the majority of the motel’s rooms, Patel said

The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago and CTA warming buses responded to help about 36 people with shelter and housing.