An Algonquin home fire that broke out in the early morning Wed., March 25, displaced two people but caused no injuries, officials have said.
According to a statement from the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, which covers the northwest Chicago suburb, the blaze started in an upstairs bathroom of the two-story home, located on the 1400 block of Braewood Drive.
The flames broke out at approximately 2:35 a.m., and were extinguished at 2:52 a.m. through a joint effort from the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Battalion and the forces of Barrington, Carpentersville, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove and Huntley.
The cause is still being investigated.
The Algonquin Building Department declared the building uninhabitable, and no official statement has been made as to when the residents will be able to move back in.
Fire Safety Awareness
John Greene, chief for the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Battalion, reported that fortunately, in this case the house had working smoke alarms, and the residents were able to evacuate.
The fire can serve as a reminder, however, of the importance of fire safety. Smoke detectors should be changed at least once every 10 years, or in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. The City of Chicago offers a number of fire safety tip sheets online, including some translated into Spanish, Polish and Chinese, to keep all Chicago-area residents safe.
Apartment dwellers may also want to be aware of their building’s safety systems. Late on March 14, a 70-year-old man was killed when a fire broke out in a residential high rise at 300 S. Damen in Chicago. The building did not have fire sprinklers.
The building had passed the Life Safety Evaluation; LSE standards require that all buildings in the city constructed before 1975 without fire sprinklers pass the evaluation, but does not require that sprinklers be installed.
“This tragic fire is another example of how the city’s LSE leaves residents … vulnerable in residential high rises where no fire sprinklers are present,” Tom Lia, executive director of the nonprofit Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, said in a statement. “Although the LSE measures aim to avoid the spread of fire from unit to unit, it does nothing to protect the individuals in the unit of a fire’s origin, essentially writing off those residents’ lives.”