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Duplex House Fire After Lightning Strike on Drury Ln, Arlington Heights; 7 Residents Escape

Fri May 04 2012 7:21 am
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VIDEO: House fire on the second floor after lightning apparently ignited the roof of a duplex home on North Drury Lane.

Arlington Heights police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 2:29 a.m. Friday to a report of a house struck by lightning in the 1700 block of North Drury Lane in Arlington Heights. Firefighters first received a report that no flames were showing, but that there was a smell of smoke in the house.

Residents in the duplex home all evacuated safely. A couple evacuated on one side, and a family of five evacuated on the other side with no reported injuries. One of the residents reported that he heard a strange noise like dripping or clicking after brilliant lightning and simultaneous thunder. Then his wife said she smelled smoked, but the man didn’t smell smoke. Next drywall on the wall and ceiling began to turn black, but still no smoke was seen.

The couple called 9-1-1 and evacuated while the family next door also evacuated. When they went outside, they could see flames were erupting from the roof. The 9-1-1 operators were updated, and firefighters immediately responded with a ‘working fire’ response, or Code 4.

When firefighters arrived they reported flames and smoke showing. They immediately emptied the onboard water tank from the first due engine, hitting the fire from the outside with one line to hold back the fire’s progress. The fire visible from the street disappeared, but reappeared about one minute later. Fire burned a hole through the roof. Firefighters set up for an interior attack and hit the fire from inside the home at the second floor level. Water streams were visible streaming upward from the hole in the roof, and then the fire went dark.

The remaining work of the firefighters included checking for extension, checking for remaining hot spots, soaking any hot spots, ventilating the roof, and putting salvage covers on furniture below the fire.

Mount Prospect firefighters gave an ‘all clear’ on the secondary search on the north residence of the duplex about 3:12 a.m. Firefighters reported some smoke coming from the south side. The two residences are separated by a fire wall. Firefighters checked the south side residence attic and reported light smoke, but no charring or high heat. The fire was stopped about 3:10 a.m. with firefighters working overhaul.

Firefighters from Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows and others either worked at the fire scene or stood by at Arlington Heights fire stations to protect the rest of Arlington Heights.

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