Crews encountered ‘high heat and a large volume of fire’ at fatal scene

The Flossmoor fire on Feb. 28 in which the homeowner was found dead took almost an hour and multiple crews to extinguish after firefighters found the house fully ablaze.
 
According to Flossmoor Fire Captain Matt Berk, a report of the fire that came in at 12:47 p.m. initially identified Homewood as the location of the house, which actually is in the 2000 block of Collett Lane in Flossmoor. 
 
Homewood Fire Department Engine 28 arrived to the home first at 12:49 p.m., and the crew found fire on both the first and second floors. Firefighters began blasting 500 gallons of water per minute through a second-floor window. They also deployed a line to the garage area to attack the fire from that angle.
 
As the Homewood crew worked “aggressively” to fight the fire, Berk said, he and other firefighters on Flossmoor Engine 19 arrived soon after and began to fight the fire on the first floor. 
 
“While they were deploying those lines, it was determined that they would have to force entry through the front door to gain entry,” Berk said. “Upon their entry, they were faced with high heat and a large volume of fire.”
 
They battled the fire on the first floor, then made their way up to the second floor. Hazel Crest Fire Department Truck 27 soon arrived on scene and ventilated the house’s roof to offer relief to the personnel working inside. 
 
Crews had the fire under control within an hour, Berk said. At that time, a deceased man was found on the first floor of the home. The cause of his death is still awaiting autopsy results, according to Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office spokesperson Becky Schlikerman. His identity is also being withheld pending notification of his next of kin.
 
Berk said the house was extensively damaged and has been boarded up. 
 
In addition to Homewood, Flossmoor and Hazel Crest, personnel from multiple village fire departments assisted, including Glenwood, Thornton, Country Club Hills, South Holland, Chicago Heights and Tinley Park, which covered the Flossmoor station while crews were out.
 
The firefighters who worked at the scene are all doing well, Berk said. 
 
“None of them experienced any injuries and they all worked with the utmost professionalism and integrity that we could ask of them,” he said.
 
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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