One Adult and 4 Children Age 6 and Younger Killed in House Fire on Oakton Street in Des Plaines

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The house on Oakton Street where one adult and four children were killed in a house fire.

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.


Fire crews near Des Plaines Tower Ladder on Oakton Street at the front of the building.
Firefighter working inside house.
Des Plaines Engine 63 at the fire scene.

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Ambulance on standby on Oakton Street in Des Plaines
Ambulance on standby on Oakton Street in Des Plaines.
The house on Oakton Street where one adult and four children were killed in a house fire.
Chicago Fire Department Squad 7 responded as part of the MABAS Box Alarm activation.
Squad 7 is stationed at O’Hare International Airport.
Illinois Office of State Fire Marshal on scene. is an Amazon Associate website, which means that a small percentage of your purchases gets paid to at no extra cost to you. When you use the search boxes above, any Amazon banner ad, or any product associated with an Amazon banner on this website, you help pay expenses related to maintaining and creating new services and ideas for a resourceful website. See more info at