Extra Alarm Condo Building Fire on Old Willow Rd Prospect Heights

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Fire in a condo building on Old Willow Road east of Wolf Road Prospect Heights. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Prospect Heights Fire Protection District was dispatched at 1:04 p.m. Thursday August 25, 2022 to a reported fire at condo/apartment unit building at 818 Old Willow Road in Prospect Heights.

Upon arrival a two-story apartment building was found to have fire in the attic. Heavy smoke was coming from the peak of the roof. Within a few minutes of their arrival, the first engine located the fire in a bathroom of a second floor apartment. A hose stream was applied to the fire, and it was extinguished. Efforts were also focused on making sure the fire wasn’t spreading in the roof and attic. Other firefighters used an aerial ladder to cut holes in the roof and stop the spread of fire in the roof and attic. Simultaneous with this, a search was made of the entire apartment complex to ensure everyone was outside.

Firefighters venting and checking the roof and attic (PHOTO CREDIT: Max Weingardt)
Firefighters venting and checking the roof and attic (PHOTO CREDIT: Max Weingardt).




Due to the magnitude and potential for loss of life and property the incident commander made a request for assistance using the mutual aid box alarm system – MABAS. This brought firefighters from a dozen other fire departments who assisted with searching for residents, and checking for fire that may have spread to the other apartment units. A report of a trapped invalid was unfounded. Someone might have helped an elderly woman out of the building just before firefighters arrived or as firefighters arrived. A small dog was also rescued.

A small dog was rescued and reunited with its human owner (PHOTO CREDIT: Max Weingardt)
A small dog was rescued and reunited with its human owner (PHOTO CREDIT: Max Weingardt).

The fire was brought under control and extinguished within 20 minutes of arrival of the first firefighters on scene. Firefighters used two hose lines and more than a dozen fire apparatus. Approximately 50 firefighters composed the entire response force. Firefighters spent nearly one hour checking for hot spots and fire spread to ensure the fire was completely extinguished. A Wheeling tower ladder crew also applied a fog spray to various points at the peak of the roof.

The residents of all 32 apartments were displaced until hazards are resolved and repairs can be made.




A total of 10 engines, 4 aerial trucks, 3 ambulances, 2 rescue squads, and several chief officers battled the fire. Fire investigators from MABAS Division 3 were also on the scene.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation

The Prospect Heights Fire Protections District reminds everyone to always have two ways to escape from their home, to ensure smoke alarms are present and working, and to develop an emergency plan should their home be destroyed by a fire or other disaster.

Fire sprinklers save lives and property. Had this structure been equipped with fire sprinklers, the original fire would have been extinguished prior to the arrival of the fire department or at the worst, contained to the area where it had started.

— Prospect Heights Fire Protection District

Firefighters cutting open the roof (PHOTO CREDIT: Max Weingardt)
Firefighters cutting open the roof (PHOTO CREDIT: Max Weingardt).
Fire scene on the north side of the building in Prospect Heights affected by an extra-alarm fire (PHOTO CREDIT: Max Weingardt)
Fire scene on the north side of the building in Prospect Heights affected by an extra-alarm fire (PHOTO CREDIT: Max Weingardt).

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