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West Chicago Fire Department responded to an apartment fire at about 2:15 a.m. Monday at 515 Carriage Drive in West Chicago. The fire spread quickly in a three-story apartment building with a mansard roof. At least five people were rescued from a third-floor balcony, but no injuries were reported. Lives were saved by the rescue operation that brought people off of the balcony. By 2:30 a.m. Monday the fire response was elevated to a Second Alarm. By 3:00 a.m. the fire response was elevated to a Third Alarm, and then a Fourth Alarm. Warm, humid weather conditions and associated heat stress required the careful rotation of manpower as a Fifth alarm was requested by 3:50 a.m. and a Sixth alarm or Interdivisional Box Alarm was requested by 4:30 a.m.
An EMS Second Alarm was also requested by about 3:15 a.m. The response brought about 14 ambulances to serve on standby and as rehab units for heat-stressed firefighters. Rehab units monitor firefighters’ vital signs as soon as they are rotated out of a fire operation. If their vital signs indicate elevated risk to their physical condition, they are not rotated back in to fire operations and are sometimes transported to the hospital. There were no reports of injuries to civilians or firefighters as of 6:15 a.m.
The fire apparently started on the second floor and extended to the third floor. Buildings on both sides of the fire building were reported damaged by water.
Firefighters from Addison, Aurora, Batavia, Bartlett, Bloomingdale,Carol Stream, Elburn, Fermilab, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Glenside, Hanover Park, Lombard, Naperville, North Aurora, St. Charles, Streamwood, Wheaton, and Winfield responded to the fire to assist West Chicago at the fire scene or provide station coverage for the rest of West Chicago. The American Red Cross was also on the scene.
Southbound Route 59 was closed at Route 38 overnight and this morning.