Palatine police, firefighters, and paramedics responded about 9:53 a.m. Friday, December 18, 2020 to a report of a fire at 783 West Hill Road in Palatine. The first Palatine Fire Department unit arrived on the scene three minutes later and reported moderate smoke coming from the chimney on the west side of a two story, single-family home. Initial responding crews met with the residents who reported that everyone was out of the house, with the exception of the family pets. The initial fire crew found smoke pushing from around the fireplace and noted high heat behind the walls through the use of thermal imaging cameras. A hose line was deployed and the walls around the fireplace were opened up, while crews on the outside stretched a second hose line and opened up the chimney above the roof. Other firefighters stretched a supply line to a fire hydrant and searched the house for any hidden fire and for the pets. The fire was declared under control at 10:14 a.m. Firefighters continued to check void spaces for hidden fire and to ventilate smoke and toxic gases for a significant duration.
No civilians or firefighters were injured in the fire. Due to the significant fire damage to the fireplace and chimney area, along with smoke damage in other parts of the residence, the home was uninhabitable, displacing four residents. The missing pets were located and safely removed by fire department crews. Damage estimates are not available at the time of this release, and the fire remains under investigation by Palatine Fire Department investigators.
The fire was fought by 21 firefighters, staffing four engines, one ladder truck, and three ambulances, which responded to the scene along with four command officers. During the incident, a unit from the Long Grove Fire Protection District stood by in a Palatine fire station to provide coverage for any additional calls. Palatine Police officers assisted at the scene with traffic and crowd control.
The Palatine Fire Department reminds everyone to have working smoke detectors in their homes, whether a single-family dwelling, an apartment or a condo. Have an escape plan, practice it, and be prepared to use it in the event of any fire. In an emergency, do not delay exiting the home in order to search for pets or any other belongings. Fireplaces and chimneys should be inspected annually.
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