Orland Park fire under investigation
BY SUSAN DEMAR LAFFERTY email@example.com July 4, 2012 7:16PM
A view of the damage from a Wednesday fire in the 15000 block of Mayo Drive Thursday, July 5, 2012, in Orland Park. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 7, 2012 6:17AM
The cause of a fire Wednesday in Orland Park that resulted in two firefighters needing treatment for heat exhaustion remained under investigation Thursday, but fireworks have been ruled out as a possible cause, Orland Fire Protection District Chief Ken Brucki said.
Officials are focusing on the outside of the four-unit townhouse in the 15000 block of Mayo Drive, Brucki said.
The fire started about 3:30 p.m. and immediately was elevated to a three-alarm blaze. When the first crews arrived, there was heavy fire on the exterior of the structure and it already had spread to the attic, Brucki said.
“On a day like that, we knew we would need extra help,” Brucki said, referring to the extreme heat.
Firefighters evacuated one elderly resident in the unit that sustained the most damage. Other residents either evacuated on their own or were not home, Brucki said.
All four units were damaged by water and smoke and were uninhabitable. Brucki said residents in three of the units would be allowed to retrieve their belongings.
Fire crews had the blaze under control within an hour, Brucki said. Two firefighters were treated at Silver Cross Hospital for heat exhaustion and then released, he said.
The entire fire department was on the scene of the fire, according to Brucki.
“I was very, very proud of our personnel,” he said. “The heat made it a lot worse. It was an extraordinary effort.”
Several other local fire departments assisted.
Firefighters later battled a brush fire and still helped put on the village’s fireworks show.
“Yesterday’s shift worked above and beyond,” Brucki said.
Brucki also credited outdoor water usage restrictions for ensuring the fire department had the necessary water pressure and volume to fight fires.