Extra-Alarm Fire Damages Multiple Homes In Northbrook

Bernie Tafoya
January 16, 2019 - 10:39 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- One house was destroyed, two others were badly damaged Wednesday morning in an extra-alarm fire in Northbrook.

Shortly before 6:20 a.m., the people who live in the 2500 block of Melanie Lane reported hearing an explosion.

Peter McCool lives two doors down from where the explosion happened and said, "We felt the whole house shake, almost like an earthquake."

McCool said he and another neighbor ran to the house where the explosion and fire happened and started yelling to see if anyone was trapped inside.

"I was going to attempt to go in to see if I could find them, but there was glass everywhere, there's flames coming from the stairs, flames coming out all the windows. It just wouldn’t be safe to go in there," he said.

Marie Cullotta lives on the street behind where it happened and said, "I felt a huge, my house shake, almost like an earthquake type feeling and heard an explosion."

Northbrook Fire Chief Andy Carlson said firefighters from as many as 12 neighboring fire departments responded to the 2-11 alarm fire to help the Northbrook Fire Department.

WBBM Newsradio/Bernie Tafoya

The fire had spread to two adjacent houses by the time crews arrive, Carlson said. It was under control within about an hour and a half.

All three homes, which were about 20 to 30 feet apart, were considered uninhabitable Wednesday, fire officials said. All of the residents were able to escape on their own, and no injuries were reported.

"That's amazing," Carlson said. 

The American Red Cross said it sent three volunteers to the scene to offer assistance to the affected families.

Carlson said all of the residents were able to find places to stay with friends or relatives.

At one point, smoke from the fire could be seen from the nearby Tri-State Tollway.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.