Fire Department Reports On South Street Fire During Week Of May 14-20

South Street Star Disposal fire PFFD
The Park Forest Fire Department arrives on South Street to battle the Star Disposal fire. (Photo: PFFD)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- The Park Forest Fire Department provided a detailed report of last week’s battle with the South Street fire. The blaze saw a front loader tractor and garbage truck on fire, the eventual collapse of the roof of the maintenance building, all within a four hour endeavor until the flames were finally quenched.

This week’s report follows.

Response Activity

On Tuesday, May 16, just before noon, members responded to a fire alarm at Star Disposal, 20 South Street. What started as a fire alarm quickly escalated into one of the largest fire incidents in Park Forest in recent years. While responding, units were informed there had been multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting a fire in the maintenance garage involving a machine.

Units arrived on scene to find a large wheel loader on fire inside the shop along with a garbage truck. This fire was already involving the structure itself, including the very dangerous bow string truss roof system.

Arriving companies took a defensive attack this heavy fire from the outside with a deck gun and a 2-1/2” attack line. The aerial tower from the Matteson Fire Department was also quickly put into action as the truss roof system collapsed shortly after the fire department’s arrival.

With the collapse of the roof structure this incident was elevated to a box alarm response to obtain additional assistance from surrounding departments. In the end this fire became a 3rd level box alarm with almost 20 departments assisting in the fire attack itself and helping to protect the communities committed to this operation. Units from as far away as Bourbonnais, Kankakee and Limestone assisted in the station stand-by portion of this box alarm response.

After about four hours the fire was declared extinguished and companies were returned to their respective communities. This fire was apparently accidental in nature and the loss is currently estimated at about $1.1 million.

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Training Activities

On Monday, May 15 & Tuesday, May 16, the full-time members completed deck-gun training. In these sessions, members were given a series of fire ground situations and worked as an engine company. These objectives included conducting a blitz attack with the deck gun.

On Wednesday, May 17 and Thursday, May 18, shift members conducted live fire training at the training site with the Matteson Fire Department.

On Friday, May 19, shift members participated in an incident critique of the fire on 20 South Street and completed a pre-plan. On Friday evening, POC members completed a Hazmat refresher training.

Fire Prevention Bureau Activities: On Monday, May 15, the Fire Captain visited with the co-op managers to discuss accessibility issues.

On Wednesday, May 17, public educators participated in Teen Zone activities. Students took turns trying on the forestry fire gear and spraying the fire hose in a skills challenge to knock over safety cones with the water stream.

On Thursday, May 18, fire inspections of multi-family units were completed.

On Saturday, May 20, the department hosted a CPR class for 5 students.

Other Activities

On Monday, May 15, the Fire Chief attended the graduation and reception for the most recent Civic Leadership Academy. These dedicated individuals spent one day a month for the last 9-months learning all about local government from a variety of Park Forest departments and leaders. The next academy is looking for interested candidates for the 2017 session; see the Village web site for more information.

On Wednesday, May 17, the Fire Chief attended the monthly WILCO Fire Chief’s Association / MABAS Division 27 meeting. This is a meeting of the regional fire chiefs who come together to discuss items of interest and concern facing the division, their communities and the region at large.

On Thursday evening, May 18, the Fire Chief was in attendance at the graduation for the 27th class of the Prairie State College Basic Firefighter Certification Academy. Nine individuals completed this semester’s training class from a variety of communities. Basic Firefighter is the base certification needed by an individual to be state approved to enter and fight fires.

On Friday, May 19, the Fire Chief attended a sub-section of a statewide disaster tabletop exercise based on a massive loss of electrical service over an extended period of time. This sub-section, hosted at Federal Signal and sponsored by Commonwealth Edison, the Will County Emergency Management Agency and Illinois EMS, was entitled “Lost Sheep” and focused on Will County and the South Suburban Region. Additional exercise functions were undertaken in Cook County at their DHS location in Oak Forest.

Source: Park Forest Fire Department via Facebook