‘Red Flag’ Fire Danger — House Fires Monday in St. Charles, Elgin
Area fire departments reported two house fires in the past 24 hours, both involving homes and requiring assistance from multiple departments — a powerful reminder of the Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service Chicago.
The Red Flag Warning was in place Monday and remains in place for this afternoon and early this evening (Tuesday, May 1, 2018) for all of northern Illinois and northwest Indiana.
Unseasonably warm temperatures, abnormally dry vegetation, and low relative humidity values will allow for explosive fire growth.
Weather conditions will again be conducive to the rapid spread of fires. Gusty southwest winds of 30 to 35 mph will quickly spread any fires that ignite. Avoid outdoor burning and use extreme caution with the disposal of smoking materials.
Gas Grill Causes Structure Fire at 506 Pin Oak Court in St. Charles
If you tuned in the local news reports Monday morning, you might have seen the chopper shots of a structure fire in St. Charles.
According to a news release from St. Charles Fire Chief Joe Schelstreet, the St. Charles Fire Department was dispatched at 9:06 a.m. Monday (April 30) to a reported grill on fire, close to the house, at 506 Pin Oak Court.
While units were en route, an update was provided by TriCom that indicated the deck and the structure were now on fire.
Firefighters were on the scene by 9:10 a.m. and found the grill and deck burning with fire moving up the back wall of the home and into the attic of the structure.
Firefighters were able to bring the fire under control in approximately 20 minutes, but investigators and fire units remained on the scene until 11:02 a.m.
The homeowner was able to self-evacuate, and there were no injuries to the occupant or firefighters. The resident made the first 9-1-1 call, and a neighbor had noticed the fire and called, as well.
The cause of the fire is being attributed to the function and use of the gas grill.
Fire loss is estimated at $25,000 to the structure and contents. The St. Charles Fire Department was assisted at the scene by the Geneva, Batavia, West Chicago and Elburn Fire Departments.
Dog Rescued, Car Tire Explodes, Family Displaced in Elgin House Fire
The Elgin Fire Department was dispatched to a house fire at 11:31 p.m. Monday (April 30, 2018) in the 500 block of Miller Drive.
The fire was called in by the resident when they heard an explosion outside, then saw the exterior of the house on fire. The explosion was caused by the tire of the car on fire in the driveway.
Multiple calls were received by communications, so the fire was immediately upgraded to a “working fire,” which brought three additional fire units to the scene.
The Elgin Police Department arrived immediately prior to the Fire Department and confirmed that all the residents were out of the house.
The first EFD units arrived on the scene within five minutes of dispatch and immediately began to extinguish the car burning in the driveway, along with the exterior of the house, the Elgin Fire Department’s Terry Bruce said in a news release.
Two units were sent to the first floor of the residence, one to rescue a dog that was in a cage, the second extinguished the fire that burned through the exterior wall and started the interior of the house on fire. Two more crews went to the second floor to halt any fire extension to the remainder of the house
Extensive damage occurred to the house and destroyed one car. The estimated fire loss was approximately $80,000 to the building, vehicle and contents.
The affected house is not habitable at this time and the residents were relocated.
The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time.
SOURCE: Elgin Fire Department news release