Man killed in condominium unit fire on Smith Street just north of Colfax Street in Palatine. YouTube Tips ⓘ
Firefighters and paramedics from Palatine responded at 6:37 a.m. Saturday, February 4, 2023 to an automatic fire alarm at 245 North Smith Street in Palatine. Police officers and additional fire units were dispatched when the response was upgraded to a structure fire based on a subsequent 911 call reporting heavy, black smoke and flames showing from a second floor bedroom window. Palatine Fire Department’s Battalion Chief on arrival discovered a person in a window adjacent to the bedroom window where flames were showing, and assigned Palatine’s Tower Ladder crew to rescue that person. The person was rescued without any injuries reported.
The first Palatine Fire Department unit arrived on the scene four minutes from the initial alarm, and reported smoke and fire coming from a second story window. The initial fire crews attempted and successfully made a rescue from a second floor window, while other crews deployed hose lines to extinguish the fire. Firefighters made entry into the unit by 6:47 a.m. and found fire in the unit as well as fire in a bedroom. Fire crews searched for residents in the other units in the building, and also searched for any possible fire extension to other parts of the building, including the attic.
Firefighters discovered a deceased fire victim in the bedroom about 6:55 a.m. Palatine Fire Department reported one civilian fatality as a result of this fire. No other residents or firefighters were injured. The Cook County Medical Examiners Office initially released that a man was killed, but did not release his age.
Due to the quick actions by the Palatine Fire Department, there was no fire damage to the other five condo units in this building. Firefighters worked to provide salvage covers in the condo unit below the unit where the fire originated and was stopped. Damage estimates are not available at the time of the Palatine Fire Department news release.
The fire was contained to the unit of origin and was declared under control at 7:10 a.m. (“loss stopped”).
The Illinois State Fire Marshal was requested to respond to the scene, and the cause of the fire is being investigated by the Palatine Fire Department, Palatine Police Department and Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal. A K-9 unit assisted the Illinois State Fire Marshal.
According to Palatine Fire Department, the fire was fought by 39 firefighters, staffing five engines, two ladder trucks, one rescue squad and four ambulances. These fire units responded to the scene along with seven fire command officers. In addition to the Palatine Fire Department, firefighters from the Rolling Meadows and Arlington Heights Fire Departments were assigned to respond to the scene. During the incident, a unit from the Long Grove Fire Protection District stood by at Palatine Fire Station 82 and provided coverage for any additional calls.
Palatine Police officers assisted at the scene with traffic control and crowd control. Police officers also helped evacuated residents with shelter from the cold weather. Smith Street was closed north of Colfax Street and near the fire scene.
According to the National Weather Service observations at O’Hare International Airport, the air temperature at 6:51 a.m. was 17°F with a Wind Chill of 2°F. Winds were from the south at 16 MPH and were gusting to 26 MPH at 6:51 a.m. Well after the fire was extinguished, soot was visible on the south wall of the building, but not visible or barely visible from the wall on the north side of the building.
“The Palatine Fire Department reminds everyone to have working smoke detectors in their homes, whether a single-family dwelling, an apartment, or a condo. . Working smoke alarms save lives. Inspect and test your smoke alarms today. For more information on fire safety visit www.nfpa.org or www.palatine.il.us“
Fire investigators determined that the fire was detected by a working smoke detector which provided early warning for the building’s residents.
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