Intense garage fire with multiple vehicles burning stopped from entering house, Arlington Heights.
Police and firefighter/paramedics from Arlington Heights responded about 4:41 a.m. Friday, January 10, 2020 to a report of a house fire in the block of 1100 North Chestnut Avenue. Northwest Central Dispatch 911 received multiple calls, and one call from the homeowner that a dog was still inside the home. The dog was later rescued by firefighters, and did not initially appear to be injured. A neighbor that called 911 also reported hearing an explosion before “the house caught fire.”
Firefighters arrived to find fire showing at the front of the 2-story house with two vehicle fires outside on the driveway and two vehicles burning inside the attached garage. Fire was described as heavy.
The fire response was updated to a Code 4 “Working Fire” by 4:45 a.m. with Rolling Meadows Truck 15, Mount Prospect Tower 13, and Palatine crews were assigned to respond to the fire, along with Arlington Heights Engine 3 and Ambulance 1.
Fire command described heavy fire showing with an exposure to the house that was just south of the burning home. Firefighters immediately attacked the fire with a 2 1/2-inch line. Tower 1’s aerial was assigned to rise above the garage area by 4:47 a.m.
Engine 4’s crew was assigned to lead out with a second hose line by 4:53 a.m. Engine 3’s crew was assigned to protect ranch home just to the south of the burning home by 4:54 a.m Engine 2’s crew reported making progress with the 2 1/2-inch hose line.
Engine 2’s crew and Squad 2’s crew went interior as Engine 2’s crew had the fire in the garage in check by 4:56 a.m.
Tower 1 and Squad 2’s crews exited the house about 4:59 a.m. and re-entered the building with Engine 4’s crew with a hose line to pull ceiling in the bedroom above the garage and to check for extension of the fire, which was visible at the peak of the garage bedroom roof.
Chasing hots spots, fire near attic following attached garage fire, Chestnut Avenue, Arlington Heights
ComEd was assigned to remote disconnect the power at the house at about 5:02 a.m.
The fire at the peak of the roof persisted following the interior attack, and Tower 1’s crew was assigned to get close to the peak by 5:06 a.m.
Squad 2’s crew took out one window on the rear of the second floor of the house about 5:06 a.m. they exited the building because of low air at 5:09 a.m.
Rolling Meadows Truck 15’s crew raised ground ladders to the second floor rear of the house by 5:10 a.m. and reported heavy smoke coming out of the northwest corner of the house. An unknown fire crew rescued the dog, and handed off the dog to police officers at the rear of the house by 5:10 a.m. Police brought the dog in good condition to the residents.
Engine 2’s crew switched air bottles by 5:12 a.m. and was ready for a new assignment.
Tower 1’s crew exited the building about 5:12 a.m. with low air bottles, returning to the street to change their bottles
Squad 2’s crew refilled their bottles and was ready for a new assignment by 5:15 a.m.
Engine 4’s crew had to leave the house to change air bottles at about 5:16 a.m. and left Ambulance 2’s crew using the hose line. Engine 4’s crew reported they had not yet accessed the fire in the attic from the interior, and requested more crews assist to pull down ceiling in the bedroom or multiple rooms above the garage. Rolling Meadows Truck 15’s crew was assigned to meet up with Engine 4’s crew at the front of the house to get details about the remaining work needed upstairs above the garage. Rolling Meadows Truck 15’s crew entered the house about 5:17 a.m. with hooks to pull down the ceiling, and take control of the hose line upstairs.
Engine 2’s crew was assigned to start pulling material out of the garage at about 5:17 a.m.
Ambulance 2’s crew exited the house by about 5:19 a.m.
Engine 3’s crew led out with a fourth line with foam for the automobile gasoline-fed fires in the garage, and connected to the fire hydrant at Oakton Street and Chestnut Avenue. Engine 3’s crew were assigned to deploy both skids by about 5:23 a.m.
Tower 1’s crew re-entered the building and reported smoke conditions were improving by about 5:23 a.m. Tower 1’s crew also reported Rolling Meadows Truck 15’s crew pulled the ceiling on the second floor above the front of the garage, but still did not see the fire in the attic.
Engine 4’s crew changed their bottles and were ready for a new assignment by 5:23 a.m. Ambulance 2’s crew changed bottles and was ready for a new assignment by about 5:24 a.m.
Tower 1’s crew requested another crew to help pull ceiling, uring the importance of finding the fire. Engine 4’s crew was assigned to re-enter to the second floor. Ambulance 2’s crew was assigned to set up a ground ladder above the front of the garage.
Truck 15’s crew was out of air by about 5:33 a.m. and exited the building.
Command reported the bulk of the fire was knocked down, but that firefighters were continuing to chase fire in the attic. Smoke conditions worsened near the roof peak above the front of the garage about 5:34 a.m.
Fire was still burning under the hoods of the two vehicles in the garage at 5:37 a.m.
Engine 4’s crew left the house for a second time for air, and Truck 15’s crew and Tower 1’s crew were working inside the second floor attic at 5:38 a.m.
Ambulance 2’s crew was assigned to Tower 1’s raised platform about 5:34 a.m.
Fire crews started heading for rehab with Ambulance 1’s crew at about 5:42 a.m. Engine 2, Tower 1 and Squad 2 were first to rehab.
Nicor was on scene about 5:43 a.m. to shut off the gas to the home.
Battalion 1 requested a MABAS Box Alarm at 5:49 a.m. after most crews had completed their second round of air bottles with a lot of overhaul work ahead. Additional crews from Buffalo Grove, Palatine and Hoffman Estates were assigned to the scene or to standby in Arlington Heights fire stations. Prospect Heights Engine 9’s crew was already assigned to stand by at an Arlington Heights fire station, and was moved up to the scene.
All crews were out of the house by 5:56 a.m. and focusing on extinguishing the final flames from the cars in the garage. The operations chief reported no fire inside the attic. Apparently the flames on the roof were burning roof materials externally. Ambulance 2’s crew in Tower 1’s bucket did not see any fire from their vantage in the bucket after making at least one hole in the wall near the peak of the foor.
The fire was declared out at 6:01 a.m., while operations shifted to ventilation and overhaul. Prospect Heights Engine 9’s crew went to work on overhaul on the second floor, and Palatine Quint 83’s crew went to work on extinguishing a stubborn fire in one of the cars.
A neighbor reported that a Tesla and a charging station were possibly located inside the garage. Initially there was no confirmation that any Tesla equipment caused the fire. A blue Tesla sedan that was parked on the driveway was towed away first, after the bulk of the fire was extinguished.
The Tesla and a BMW were destroyed on the driveway; a Volkswagen and Acura were destroyed in the garage. Fire investigators arrived and are looking at the vehicles that were parked in the garage, and the inside of the garage.
The fire extended up to the second floor and an attic above the garage. A bedroom was directly above the garage. The fire was under control within about 40 minutes.
A MABAS Box Alarm was activated for this fire, which brought firefighters and fire equipment from neighboring communities.
The homeowner credited a garage “fire door” with saving the lives of his family. The homeowner said his wife was awakened first by the alert sound from their NEST smoke detectors.
The cause of the fire has not been determined, but the origin appears to have been in or near the attached garage. A Tesla was parked outside, but an Acura was one of the cars that burned inside the garage. An Acura MDX was involved in a spontaneous fire last year while a mom was driving her young son on Hickory Avenue near Euclid Avenue
on Friday June 28, 2019. The Acura MDX was involved in an intense fire that destroyed the vehicle. Both the mom and son escaped safetly.
The information in this article is an early report published before any summary information was confirmed or released by police or fire authorities.
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