Police, firefighters, and paramedics from Des Plaines responded about 10:13 a.m. Wednesday, January 27, 2020 to a report of a house fire in the block of 700 West Oakton Street. The fire was reported by passersby. Firefighters received a 9-1-1 report that a man ran in to rescue children entrapped in a house fire while smoke was coming out of the roof of the house. Initially, the details of this report are uncertain, and there was no additional information about the man this afternoon. Firefighters on arrival reported smoke showing, and confirmed a working fire. An additional two ambulances were requested about 10:26 a.m., and the first victim was brought out about 10:30 a.m.
Four children age six and under, and an adult were killed in the fire. The four children were transported to Level 1 Trauma Center Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. The mother was pronounced dead at the scene. The house was a 1 1/2-story side-by-side duplex house on the north side of Oakton Street just east of Elmhurst Road.
One firefighter was injured at the scene — a non-life-threatening injury. A MABAS Division 3 Box Alarm was activated about 10:38 a.m., assigning firefighters and paramedics from at least 16 communities to the scene.
The fire was declared out by about 10:50 a.m.
The house conditions were untenable and both floors were fully charged with smoke, according to Des Plaines Fire Chief Daniel Anderson. He said this the worst fire he has seen in his career, adding, “This is a terrible day, a tragic day.”
Chief Anderson praised the work of firefighters, and recognized the assistance of firefighters from neighboring communities, including Arlington Heights, Bensenville, Chicago, Elk Grove Village, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, North Maine, Palatine, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows, Rosemont, Skokie and Wilmette.
MABAS Division 3 investigators and the Office of the State Fire Marshal were on the scene immediately after the fire was extinguished.
Oakton Street was blocked in both directions, and will remain blocked for an extended period.
DEVELOPING IF CONTENT IS AVAILABLE …
Stay informed with news from The Cardinal’s Emergencies Behind the Scenes Facebook page — Facebook.com/CardinalEmergencies. Includes links to favorite public safety and emergency rescuers and product manufacturers and safety companies that have facebook pages. Submit your pictures or just stay up-to-date on with fire, rescue, EMS and police photo galleries. Please add your public safety photo to the wall album — go direct to the Arlington Cardinal Emergencies Behind the Scenes photos. For a list of all of The Cardinal Facebook fan pages, go to Arlingtoncardinal.com/about/facebook …
Help fund The Cardinal Arlingtoncardinal.com/sponsor