1 dead in South Elgin fire, frozen hydrants hinder crews - New York News

1 dead in South Elgin fire, frozen hydrants hinder crews

Posted: Updated:
SOUTH ELGIN, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A village police officer and sheriff's deputy were able to rescue a wheelchair-bound woman from her home when fire broke out there Wednesday morning, but were unable to get to her husband out before the man died in the fire, officials told the Elgin Courier-News.

There were no working smoke detectors in the home and the fire may have been started by careless smoking on or near living area furniture, said South Elgin Fire Protection District Chief Joe Cluchey.

The Kane County Coroner's Office identified the victim as Thomas Hasier, 72, of the Beck Avenue address, who was pronounced dead at the scene at 9:29 a.m.. A determination on the exact cause of death was pending results of an autopsy and full investigation, the office said.

South Elgin firefighters were called at 9:03 a.m. Wednesday to the home at 117 Beck Ave. The caller, an elderly woman, told officials the home was filling with smoke and she was in a wheelchair and could not get out of the home. She also believed her husband was in a bedroom area, officials said.

A report said the woman was found in her wheelchair near the home's doorway by South Elgin Police Officer Roger Isham and Kane County Sheriff's Deputy Salina, who were able to carry the woman to safety.

Firefighters arriving at 9:07 a.m. noted heavy fire pushing from several rooms in the single-story home and were told the man was still inside.

Fire crews entering the home were met with high heat and were pushed back out by flashover conditions, Cluchey said. Crews were quickly able to push down the heat and flames enough to again enter the home and with additional visibility located the victim on the floor near the center of the home and near where the fire is believed to have started, officials said.

One family dog was able to escape the blaze, but another dog also died in the fire, officials said.

The home is a total loss and although the exact cause has yet to be established, Cluchey said, investigators suspect careless use of smoking materials. Investigators from the South Elgin district and the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal are working to confirm an exact cause, he said.

Fighting the fire was hampered as the nearest hydrant was frozen and partially obscured by snow. Cluchey asked residents to check their nearest fire hydrant to make sure it is free of snow and able to be seen by emergency personnel in case of a fire.

Noting the absence of a working smoke detector in the home, Cluchey said the South Elgin district has a program that provides senior residents with fire detectors, and firefighters will even change the batteries for those who need the help, Cluchey said.

"All they have to do is call us," he said.

South Elgin firefighters found themselves extremely busy during the fire, Cluchey said. Crews had just rescued the driver of a vehicle pinned in his car at McLean Boulevard and Spring Street when the call came out. During the fire, there also was a fire alarm at South Elgin High School due to a burst overhead water pipe and a business on Randall Road reported smoke inside, Cluchey said.

No firefighters were hurt during the incident, which also brought fire crews from around the region to help — either covering the other calls or helping knock down the fire, Cluchey said.

Follow Us!

Share Your Photos & Video

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Official: NYPD body cameras are 'win-win'

    Official: NYPD body cameras are 'win-win'

    Thursday, August 21 2014 5:36 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:36:44 GMT
    Public Advocate Leticia James says a 3-ounce camera, if used correctly, could be a key tool in improving community and police relations. She showed off one of the cameras she believes NYPD patrol officers need to be wearing. She said that the cameras would be a "win-win" for the public, transparency, police accountability improving police community relations, reducing civil liability.
    Public Advocate Leticia James says a 3-ounce camera, if used correctly, could be a key tool in improving community and police relations. She showed off one of the cameras she believes NYPD patrol officers need to be wearing. She said that the cameras would be a "win-win" for the public, transparency, police accountability improving police community relations, reducing civil liability.
  • Savion Glover, the master teacher

    Savion Glover, the master teacher

    Thursday, August 21 2014 5:26 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:26:05 GMT
    While the rest of us merely march to the beat of our own drum, Savion Glover is the drum. The tap dance superstar has dazzled audiences from the small screen to the big screen from the White House to the Great White Way. More than just a legend, Savion has become a curator of tap. He is on a mission to keep the craft sacred for future generations.
    While the rest of us merely march to the beat of our own drum, Savion Glover is the drum. The tap dance superstar has dazzled audiences from the small screen to the big screen from the White House to the Great White Way. More than just a legend, Savion has become a curator of tap. He is on a mission to keep the craft sacred for future generations.
  • Sharpton promises orderly march

    Garner's family meets U.S. attorney

    Garner's family meets U.S. attorney

    Thursday, August 21 2014 5:18 PM EDT2014-08-21 21:18:39 GMT
    The Rev. Al Sharpton and family members of Eric Garner came from a meeting with U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in which they asked for a federal civil rights investigation into his apparent chokehold death. Meantime, Staten Island businesses are bracing for the huge crowds expected at Saturday's march. Sharpton said he is estimating about 3,000 to 5,000 people to rally Saturday.
    The Rev. Al Sharpton and family members of Eric Garner came from a meeting with U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in which they asked for a federal civil rights investigation into his apparent chokehold death. Meantime, Staten Island businesses are bracing for the huge crowds expected at Saturday's march. Sharpton said he is estimating about 3,000 to 5,000 people to rally Saturday.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices