Chicago: 4 Firefighters Injured by Backdraft at Apartment Fire on Potomac Ave

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Chicago Fire Department Fire Commissioner and fire officials told media that four firefighters suffered 1st- and 2nd-degree burns after the flames from a kitchen apartment fire and a backdraft suddenly intensified. The intense heat forced some firefighters to jump from a second story window onto some awnings.

Chicago Fire Department Commissioner Jose Santiago said firefighters tracked the source of the fire near a kitchen on the second floor. As they entered into that area, the heat and size of the fire surged — something often referred to as a backdraft –forcing them to retreat,” Santiago said.

“As the firefighters make entry, you may have a fire just sitting there and the only thing it’s lacking is oxygen,” Santiago said. “In order for firefighters to get in there, they’re going to open doors and it will start feeding that fire. Sometimes, it’s like an explosion. They’re engulfed in fire.”

Santiago added, “They all had their masks on. That’s why they’re alive right now.” Nevertheless firefighters had to undergo close medical observation in case respiratory passages were injured by the intense heat. Inhaling super-heated air can cause injury to the trachea and throat, which could cause delayed swelling and then interfere with breathing.

Chicago Fire Department media initially reported four injured firefighters were “all stable at moment” after the apartment fire on West Potomac Avenue. Five civilians were assessed by paramedics and refused transportation. Six residents were displaced.

Chicago police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 12:08 PM Sunday to a report of an apartment fire with black smoke on 4926 W Potomac Avenue Chicago, Il. Chicago police, firefighters, and paramedics received a report of an apartment fire with thick black smoke.

Engine 117’s crew on arrival reported light smoke showing by 12:09 p.m.

Tower Ladder 14’s crew took the front of the building.

Battalion Chief 18 reported a 2-story ordinary, 25×50 with a fire in the rear. A main aerial ladder was raised to the roof by 12:14 pm.

BC18 reported they had a MAYDAY situation by 12:14 p.m. Battalion Chief 18 requested a Still and Box, Mayday, and EMS Plan 1 response. Firefighters were working on rescue and were conducting a role call by 12:16 p.m.

Initially one firefighter was transported Code Red to Cook County Stroger Hospital. A short time later it was reported that three firefighters were transported Code Red to Cook County Stroger Hospital. Later a fourth patient was reporting for transported to Cook County Stroger Hospital.

Ambulance 52 transported one firefighter Code Red to Cook County Stroger Hospital.

Ambulance 23 transported one firefighter Code Yellow (status changed to Code Red) to Cook County Stroger Hospital. A23 was initially transporting to West Suburban Hospital but was changed to Cook County.

Ambulance 64 transported one firefighter to Cook County Stroger Hospital by about 12:43 pm.

A62 transporting a fourth firefighter Code Red to Stroger Hospital by 12:56 pm.


ENGINE(S): E117 E ??

TRUCK(S): T ?? T ?? TL14

SQD ?? CV271

RIT: BC8 T29


EMS: A ?? FC ?? STANDBY A ??







EMS: A62 A64

CHIEF(S): 213 2-1-29 481
BC7 Box Chief
BC17 Plans Chief

SPECIAL: Collapse Unit 5-2-1

LIVE TRAFFIC MAP of neighborhood to a report of an apartment fire with black smoke on near 4926 W Potomac Avenue Chicago, Il …

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