Husband and Wife Killed in House Fire on Spruce Terrace South of Redwood Lane, Arlington Heights

House Fire C-Side at fatal fire in Arlington Heights Thursday, February 4, 2021
House fire where flames vented out the back of a house at fatal fire on Spruce Terrace in Arlington Heights Thursday, February 4, 2021.

Fatal house fire on Spruce Terrace in Arlington Heights on Thursday, February 4, 2021. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Police, firefighters and paramedics from Arlington Heights were dispatched about 8:16 a.m. Thursday, February 4, 2021 to a report of flames coming from a single-family home in the block of 1900 North Spruce Terrace in Arlington Heights. The report to 9-1-1 was called in by a neighbor.

Responding police officers were first on the scene and were unable to make entry into the home due to heavy smoke and fire.




First-in Arlington Heights Fire Department firefighters and paramedics immediately conducted a transitional attack and had water on the fire from the exterior. Firefighters began an effort to conduct a primary search of the home. Search crews were immediately faced with intense heat and flames on the mid-level near the kitchen area. They were initially unable to make the top level of the house due to the heat and fire conditions.

A second hose line was brought in through the front door to protect the interior search crews. Rescuers located two occupants on the top floor, later identified as a 75-year-old male resident, as well as his 72-year- old wife. Lew Smith, age 75, was found in a hallway, and Joan Smith, age 72, was found in a bedroom.

Arlington Heights Chief Andrew Larson after fatal house fire on Spruce Terrace where a husband and wife were found unresponsive on the second floor. YouTube Tips ⓘ




The fire victims were immediately transported to Northwest Community Hospital with life-threatening injuries by Arlington Heights Fire Department paramedics. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, both fire victims were pronounced dead by emergency room staff at Northwest Community Hospital.

Fire personnel continued to attack the flames from the interior and the exterior, and brought the house fire under control by 8:44 a.m. Mutual aid was provided at the scene by neighboring fire departments to include Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect and Palatine front line companies and command officers. Additional assistance was provided by Schaumburg and Prospect Heights Fire Department firefighters who supported routine calls for service in the rest of Arlington Heights during the working fire.




No other persons resided at the home, and no personnel from any of the responding agencies were injured during the incident.

An investigation into the cause and origin of the fire is being conducted by Fire Department investigators, Police Department forensic technicians, and the State Fire Marshal’s Office. Preliminary evidence suggests the fire originated in the home’s kitchen, yet the source of the fire remained under investigation Monday afternoon.

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House Fire C-Side at fatal fire in Arlington Heights Thursday, February 4, 2021
House Fire C-Side at fatal fire in Arlington Heights Thursday, February 4, 2021.