Bensenville (IL) firefighters responded to an automatic fire alarm on the morning of 11/19/17 around 6:15AM at 361 Marshall Road. Within minutes they received multiple calls reporting fire in the building. Arriving police officers advised flames from the window of a third floor unit.
Flames swept through the mansard roof and into the attic. The alarm was upgraded to a Box Alarm and later a 2nd Alarm was struck. After the fire jumped a fire wall, the fire was upgraded to a 3rd Alarm . Elevated master streams from Bensenville Truck 107, Leyden Quint 133, and Chicago Squad 7A were deployed in addition to several large hand lines after companies were pulled out of the building. One resident was unaccounted for and later discovered deceased as companies went inside to overhaul.
morte at chicagoareafire.com
This was a real dandy. The Fire Alarm office calltaker and dispatcher was the late Dick Hyland. You can also hear Bob Phelan as well as Matt Tomlin briefly on the radio and Al Andersen was the switchboard guy that handled most of the radio stuff. I took this job in. What a night this was! The DDC was Ed Altman way before his commissioner days and the responding District Chief was Louis Galante (which explains why this wasn’t a 5-11). Some other voices you may find familiar Jim Corbett on truck 12, Bob Welch as “3a”, Bill O’Boyle on Squad 1.
I’m sure there are many more to be recognized upon further review. This fire turned into a real spectacle. It ignited a scrapyard at 14th & State that went to a box and it also burned up El ties along the tracks for about 2 blocks. To top it off Snorkel 1 got stuck in the partially raised position and members had to be rescued via ground ladder as the radiant heat was getting brutal. After the building collapsed they found a guy who was sleeping in a vehicle next to the fire building who had to be extricated with a hurst tool since the car was squashed by the falling wall.
I was standing too close at the time of the collapse and as I was running saw a member get knocked down by flying bricks. I believe he broke his leg … a narrow miss for me. This was a real all time classic job. I will never forget it.