Fire Guts Home on Woodland Glen; Firefighters Team Up in Extreme Heat

burnt home, structure fire, Woodland Glen, PFFD
The burnt interior of a home on Woodland Glen Sunday. (Photo: PFFD)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Park Forest Fire Department responded to a residential structure fire on Woodland Glen this past Sunday, August 26, at around 1:15 PM. Donning heavy equipment, firefighters raced out into 94-degree heat only to find flames coming through the roof in the rear of the 4,500-5,000 square foot home.

The large ranch home was in danger of being lost. No one from the family was home at the time of the inferno, and no one was injured either in the blaze or attempting to extinguish the blaze. The family included five young children, according to the PFFD. 

fire trucks, PFFD, Woodland Glen, structure fire, house fire
Fire companies from Park Forest and surrounding communities worked together to extinguish the blaze. (PFFD)

“Thankfully they weren’t home at the time,” members of the PFFD said on Facebook. “As we all know, contents can always be replaced, but human life can’t. We were definitely glad they weren’t home.

And Park Forest did not do it alone.

“Thankfully, with our auto-aid agreements, University Park Truck 96, Richton Park Truck 35, South Chicago Heights Ambulance, along with a Safety Officer from Matteson, were close behind. [Park Forest] Ambulance 61 cleared up from their call as well and was able to join the attack crew,” Park Forest Firefighters Local 1263 said on Facebook. “Due to the set back of the house, a skid load was utilized and a transitional attack contained the fire to approx 40% of the roughly 4,500-5,000 square ft. home.”

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Firefighters working to extinguish the fire. (PFFD)

According to a statement on the PFFD’s Village web page, “The fire was so intense that crews had to initially fight the fire from the exterior to gain control of the fire and then moved interior to complete extinguishment.”

“Secondary arriving automatic aid units from South Chicago Heights, University Park, and Richton Park assisted with water supply and completing an initial search which found no occupants,” the statement continued. “At the time of the fire, the residents were out of the area for the day and returned home about an hour after the fire. Due to the extreme heat and extensive overhaul that was needed a box alarm was requested bringing mutual aid help from Chicago Heights, Crete, Crete Township, Frankfort, Matteson, and Monee.”

Crews remained on the scene for several hours, the department reported.

Fire Chief Tracy Natyshok expressed his admiration for the work crews performed Sunday, “I am very proud of the great work the members of ‘C’ shift did today. It was 94 degrees and this fire required intensive work that included pulling two large 2.5-inch attack lines. Thank you to all our auto-aid and mutual aid partners that helped. This proves hard-work and training equal results on the fire ground!”

burnt hallway, house fire, structure fire, Woodland Glen, PFFD
A burnt hallway inside the remains of the house on Woodland Glen. (PFFD)

The Park Forest Fire Department took advantage of the opportunity to stress the importance of smoke alarms.

“This fire occurring in the wake of the tragic fatal Chicago fire that happened earlier that morning serves as a grim reminder that tragedy can happen in an instant,” the PFFD said in its statement. “We want to remind our residents to check your smoke alarms. It only takes seconds to make sure yours is working. This is the one safety device that is going to alert you that a fire is occurring in your home.

“If your smoke alarm isn’t working please replace the batteries immediately. If your alarm is 10 years or older replace it with new alarm that has a 10-year long life battery so you never need to worry about dead batteries. Take time to maybe save a life and check your alarm today.”

We at eNews Park Forest salute the work of the Park Forest Fire Department, as well as the other departments that responded to this emergency in our Village.

Get more information on smoke alarms here.