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House Fire Displaces Two; Family Cat Rescued

A fire that began in an attached garage caused an estimated $120,000 in damage to a Des Plaines residence Saturday morning, according to the Des Plaines Fire Department.

A fire that erupted in a garage attached to a house early Saturday morning displaced the two Des Plaines residents who live there. The two occupants and their family cat, which was rescued by firefighters from the basement of the house, received housing assistance from the city’s emergency management agency, according to a report from the Des Plaines Fire Department, because the house was uninhabitable following the fire.

The Des Plaines Fire Department responded to the fire report at 256 Kathleen Drive at 2:02 a.m. on Dec. 8, according to the report, arrived on the scene at 2:07 a.m. and the fire was extinguished within 20 minutes of their arrival on the scene.

The fire began in the garage and progressed into the attic and the main part of the house prior to the fire department’s arrival, according to the report, and the cause is under investigation.

“Firefighting crews made an aggressive interior attack and did a great job of stopping the advancement of the fast-moving fire, thus preventing further loss,” said Fire Chief Alan Wax.

The residents heard a noise in the garage, the fire department stated, and when one of the residents opened the door from the living space to the garage, suffered a slight burn to one hand and found the fire. They exited the house and called 9-1-1, according to the report.

The resident who was burned was evaluated by paramedics, the fire department stated, and released on the scene with no treatment needed.

Firefighters rescued the family cat from the basement, according to the report, and gave it oxygen using a mask designed for pets.

“While there was one injury, we are glad it was minor, and that no one else was hurt, including the cat,” Wax said. “Our hearts and wishes go out to the family who is going through this during the holiday season.”

Wax said the fire department appreciated the assistance of its mutual aid partners. The Des Plaines Fire Department was assisted by the Mount Prospect and Elk Grove Village fire departments on the scene, the fire department stated, and Rosemont, Park Ridge, Wheeling and Glenview fire departments sent personnel and vehicles to the Des Plaines fire stations, where they responded to other emergency calls during the fire.

The Des Plaines Police Department and the citizen volunteer Fire Corps controlled traffic, provided scene lighting and other support to the fire department, according to the report.

“The teamwork displayed, as always, was terrific and contributed greatly to a safe and successful emergency operation,” Wax said.

Firefighting crews were on the scene until 5 a.m., and investigators completed on-scene work at 6:10 a.m., the fire department stated. Property loss was estimated at $120,000.

“This incident also serves as a reminder to all to be safe during the holidays and the winter heating season,” Wax said.

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Mary Beth December 10, 2012 at 11:58 PM
While a house fire just before the holidays is tragic, it is heartwarming to learn that both occupants were saved with only minor injuries and that firefighters even saved the family cat giving O2 with a pet mask! Kudos to the DPFD for their bravery and compassion in saving all lives.
TJ Panfil December 16, 2012 at 03:50 AM
I live kitty corner to the house and agree that the first responders were first rate!

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