Aurora police, firefighters and paramedics responded about 6:58 a.m. Tuesday, March 2, 2021, when Aurora Central Dispatch received multiple calls from citizens stating that smoke was coming from a house in the block of 200 West Downer Place in Aurora. A Box Alarm for a structure fire, which consists of two engine companies, one truck company, two Battalion Chiefs, and a paramedic unit was dispatched. Additional chief fire officers responded and could see a large column of smoke in the distance while responding to the fire, and requested a 2nd Alarm.
Upon arrival, firefighters found a 3 ½ story wood frame, multi-unit dwelling with heavy fire and smoke showing. Firefighters initially received a report that there was a person trapped on the upper floor. Firefighters from the engine company quickly deployed hose lines to attack the fire while the truck company’s fire crew made entry to search for victims.
The alarm was upgraded to a 3rd Alarm due to the structure’s size and heavy fire conditions. As other fire companies arrived on the scene, more hose lines were deployed to all building levels. While conducting a primary search for victims, they encountered high heat conditions and fire on all floors. During the search, no victims were found, and later it was confirmed by the homeowner that the building was vacant and is for sale.
Firefighters remained on the scene for 2 ½ hours fighting the fire. The fire was challenging to extinguish due to the building’s construction, which is known as a balloon-frame type of construction. The fire easily traveled through the inside of the walls and quickly spread to all levels. Two separate times, interior fire crews were evacuated, and transitioned back to a defensive, exterior fire attack. Due to below freezing temperatures, icy conditions around the building caused a few firefighters to slip and fall, although no firefighters were injured, according to Aurora Fire Department. The fire was very labor-intensive due to the amount of overhaul needed to search for fire, and extinguish the fire within the walls and ceilings.
A total of 40 firefighters responded to the incident. The building was deemed uninhabitable, and the cause of the fire is under investigation. There were no reported injuries to civilians or firefighters.
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