The Oak Park Fire Department has determined a candle burning in a bedroom was the cause of the house fire days before Christmas in the 600 block of North Grove Avenue that left the structure uninhabitable. The candle itself was not a holiday decoration.
Oak Park Fire Chief Ron Kobyleski told Wednesday Journal the fire department was dispatched to the report of a fire at 9:54 p.m., Dec. 22. While all occupants of the building evacuated the confines of the home, fire was observed from multiple windows on the second and third floor.
“One occupant suffered minor smoke inhalation and was treated on the scene by Oak Park paramedics,” said Kobyleski.
Two hose lines were deployed to extinguish the fire on the two floors and the ladder truck was used to provide ventilation and access to the upper levels. The fire was under control by 11:30 p.m., according to Kobyleski, who said working smoke detectors were present in the home and alerted the occupants to the fire. The fire caused extensive damage to the bedroom areas, leaving the house uninhabitable.
The Forest Park, Cicero and North Riverside fire departments assisted the Oak Park Fire Department in fighting the fire. Twenty-three firefighters were on the scene.
Personnel from neighboring fire departments were not the only people to lend a helping hand that night. Kobyleski shared his appreciation for those who lived nearby who showed up to help their displaced neighbors.
“I would like to thank the neighbors for assisting in storing the salvaged presents and personal items that the Fire Department was able to recover from the home.”