Extra-Alarm Fire at Mallard Cove Condos on Old Wilke Rd in Arlington Heights Displaces Residents


Extra-Alarm condo fire at Mallard Cove condominiums on South Old Wilke Rd Arlington Heights, Saturday, December 23, 2023. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Police from Arlington Heights, and firefighters and paramedics from Arlington Heights and Rolling Meadows responded about 9:42 a.m. Saturday, December 23, 2023 to a report of an apartment fire at 1117 South Wilke Road in Arlington Heights.

At the time of the first 911 call, it was unknown if anyone was injured or trapped inside the 4-story structure, according to the Arlington Heights Police Department. Flames and billowing smoke were visible coming from a 4th floor unit upon arrival of first-in units.

Fire was blowing out of a north side window on the 4th floor of the apartment building at the Mallard Cove Condominium complex.

The fire was upgraded to a Working Fire by 9:45 a.m. based on the Battalion Chief learning that there were reports of flames showing from a window.

Flames from window of Mallard Cove condo unit at Extra-Alarm Fire on Saturday morning, December 23, 2023 (obtained photo)
Flames from window of Mallard Cove condo unit at Extra-Alarm Fire on Saturday morning, December 23, 2023 (obtained photo).

Meanwhile, responding police officers entered the building but were unable to make entry into the specific unit where the fire was located due to heavy smoke and fire. Instead, first-in Rolling Meadows and Arlington Heights Fire Department personnel conducted an expedited search and continued evacuation of the entire building. All residents were able to vacate the building without any reported injuries.

One police officer, who had bravely entered the building before firefighters arrived, was later assessed by paramedics for minor smoke inhalation. The police department continued to work at the scene after he was assessed by paramedics.

Rolling Meadows firefighters from Truck 15 were first on scene from the closest fire station on Algonquin Road in Rolling Meadows. The firefighters elevated their ladder over the roof, entered the burning building, and quickly climbed the staircase that was close to the condo unit that was located at the northwest corner of the building. A water supply was quickly connected with hose that was carried up the four flights of stairs, and firefighters forced entry into the unit, and quickly knocked down the large flames that were in the unit and pushing out the windows on the north side of the building.

A MABAS Division 1 Box Alarm #(pending) was activated a short time after the fire call was upgraded to a Working Fire for extra crews in case the fire extended into the attic of the 4-story building.

The firefighters’ quick attack of the fire limited overall structural damage, and prevented the fire from extending to other condo units and the attic. The fire was contained to a 4th floor corner unit, according to the Arlington Heights Police Department.

The resident, who lives in the unit, was not home at the time of the fire. A neighbor said a cat may have died in the fire.

Incident Command declared the fire out at 10:17 a.m. There was no fire extension to the roof or adjoining condominiums, according to the Arlington Heights Police Department. Fire, smoke and water damage will likely impact the occupancy of persons living in approximately 4-6 condo units. An inspector from the Arlington Heights Building and Life Safety Department was assigned to the scene to work with fire officials to make a final determination as to how many units will be listed as uninhabitable.

Given the substantive size of the fire, mutual aid from several neighboring fire department jurisdictions responded to assist with fire scene operations, including Rolling Meadows Fire Department, Mount Prospect Fire Department, Palatine Fire Department, and Schaumburg Fire Department.

In addition, off-duty Arlington Heights fire personnel were activated and responded to staff reserve fire equipment. Assistance for the rest of Arlington Heights was also provided by neighboring fire departments, including Prospect Heights Fire Protection District, Lake Zurich Fire Department and Glenview Fire Department. Firefighters supported routine calls for service in the rest of the Arlington Heights community during the working fire.

Off-duty Arlington Heights firefighters with reserve equipment were soon assigned to respond to a serious crash at Arlington Heights Road and Olive Street. One person required quick extrication from a pickup truck, but fortunately no injuries were reported initially.

Neighbors at the fire scene said they didn’t smell any smoke in the 4-story condo unit when the Fire Alarm activated. However, the fire quickly became a raging fire that engulfed the inside of the unit on the 4th floor.


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