Palatine police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 4:38 p.m. Saturday, January 18, 2020 to a reported structure fire at a three-story apartment building located at 1322 North Ports O Call Drive. The first Palatine Fire Department crews arrived on the scene at 4:45 p.m. and found smoke coming from the roof. A hose line was pulled and advanced to the third floor where fire companies discovered a fire in apartment #2E. The fire crews quickly began removing ceilings in the unit to expose the hidden fire. The fire was extinguished and most of the damage was confined to the apartment unit where the fire was discovered. There was some water damage to the units directly below. Additional fire companies performed searches of the building, and confirmed there were no trapped or injured occupants in the building. Firefighters also worked to check for extension of any possible hidden fire. Firefighters connected a supply line to a nearby fire hydrant while other firefighters performed support functions. The fire was declared under control at 4:53 p.m. Firefighters continued to perform salvage, overhaul, and investigative activities for some time after that.
“The place where we feel the safest, at home, is where most fire injuries and fire-related deaths occur. Working smoke alarms are the best defense against being injured in a home fire. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), all homes should have working smoke alarms in and outside each sleeping area, and on each floor of the residence. The NFPA also recommends that smoke alarms be tested monthly. Smoke alarms save lives. Make sure your smoke alarms are working and are less than 10 years old. For more information on smoke alarms and fire safety visit www.palatine.il.us or www.nfpa.org/education.”
— Palatine Fire Department
No civilians or firefighters were injured in the fire which was contained to one apartment. Damage estimates were not available at the time of the Palatine Fire Department information release. Palatine Fire Department investigators have determined the cause of the fire to be accidental, and electrical in nature. Thirty-three firefighters responded to the scene, staffing four engines, three ladder trucks, four ambulances, and one rescue squad. The fire was fought by eighteen firefighters and supported by three command officers and one fire investigator. Crews from the Arlington Heights Fire Department, Buffalo Grove Fire Department, and Palatine Rural Fire Protection District were among the initial responders to the scene as part of an automatic aid agreement. An ambulance from the Long Grove Fire Protection District stood by in a Palatine Fire Station to assist with additional calls during this incident. Palatine police officers assisted at the scene with resident evacuation, and traffic and crowd control.
Fireground operations were conducted following fresh snowfall followed by freezing rain and freezing drizzle since Friday night and early Saturday morning. At the time of the fire, temperatures were falling with high winds. According to the NWS station at O’Hare International Airport at 4:51 p.m. Saturday January 18, 2020, the air temperature was 17°F with a wind chill of -1°F, and winds were from the west at 23 MPH and gusting to 41 MPH.
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