Firefighters rescue owner, dogs from back balcony in Oak Park house fire

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By Jean Lotus

Forest Park Review Editor

Oak Park firefighters responded around 1:30 p.m. to a house fire in the 900 block of Forest Avenue Saturday. Dispatchers said the fire started in the living room. Firefighters rescued a single resident and two dogs trapped on the second story back porch.

There were no injuries, although a small dog described as "limp" by neighbors was removed from the home. Firefighters gave the dog oxygen and owners brought it to the vet. The fate of a cat who lived in the house was unclear.

The house belongs to Les Golden, a perennial Oak Park candidate for local office. Golden had had no comment to the newspaper. The fire was struck by 2:30 p.m. 

Reader Comments

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Mel Rangert   

Posted: February 6th, 2015 2:32 PM

Whether the man (Les) was ideal or unideal, speaking ill of him is simply unkind. While living in Oak Park I have many times experienced some unkind neighbors who defame others' character and spread lies. Let's be above all that and pray that people and animals receive and accept what is best for them. It's not for us to decide what that is so we can just wish the best for them and work on improving our own lives.

Betty from Oak Park  

Posted: February 6th, 2015 1:54 PM

Fabulous job OP firefighter. I love that you help the 4 footed victims of fires as well as the 2 footed ones. You are the best!

shelly from fprest park  

Posted: February 4th, 2015 12:02 AM

Now on to the topic - great job by the Oak Park Fire Department. Nice save. You are appreciated.

shelly from forest park  

Posted: February 4th, 2015 12:00 AM

How is it that every post always ends up the same -people not really talking about the posted info, but talking about themselves? I don't post on this site, but I am today and I have noticed this as a trend. Always the same folks who can turn any conversation toward themselves. Amazing. Amazingly self-centered. Doesn't matter the topic, always turns out to be a dialog of wills and ends up being about the people who post and not the subject. Geeeezzz.Give it a rest. And give the rest of us a rest

Another Neighbor  

Posted: February 3rd, 2015 1:07 PM

Jerry (from Phoenix?) - It might make sense to you to assume that Mr. Golden has some mental or physical problems, and perhaps he does. But I can assure you that he's been something of a local gadfly (or worse) for decades. I do not envy Brian being his neighbor. Perhaps Brian's proximity has caused him greater frustration with Mr. Golden than yours has caused you?

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: February 3rd, 2015 10:55 AM

I am not trying to impress anyone, just state the facts and resistance. Tried to get him to teach astronomy, his favorite at the temple, and he wouldn't budge. I am of the opinion the house should be demolished because of code,health and unlivable conditions,maybe it isn't cost effective to fix the house. Some of us have worked decades on this problem.Is it cruel to animals to house them in unsanitary conditions? Or expose fire fighters needlessly to unhealthy and dangerous conditions?

Jerry Hudson from Phoenix  

Posted: February 2nd, 2015 10:21 PM

My mistake, I meant to say "demolish" and not "destroy." Although either outcome is a bit draconian.

Jerry Hudson from Phoenix  

Posted: February 2nd, 2015 9:23 PM

Yet this "good man" hopes that "with luck" Les' house will be "destroyed," and attributes any problems Les is having to "character" flaws and not some mental or physical problems over me which he has little control. Strikes me as a bit judgmental. And wishing for someone's home to be "destroyed" is totally out of bounds, even for a "good man."


Posted: February 2nd, 2015 1:54 PM

Brian is a good man. He's not interested in patting himself on the back for helping someone. He's simply stating facts. Neighbors tend to ignore the Elephant in the room, but this man needs intervention and possibly this was God's way of getting it for him? NOT to say God did this, but He does allow situations into our lives to grab our "closed' attention. I've been on the side on needing help and Brian was one of the good people who helped me when my daughters wallet was stolen yrs. ago. ?

Another neighbor  

Posted: February 2nd, 2015 9:38 AM

I'm with Brian on this one. I live in the area, and my wife and I like to take evening walks when the weather's nice. We've stopped walking down that block because of some less-than-pleasant experiences with the resident. His character is not unlike Brian says.

Jim Bowman  

Posted: February 2nd, 2015 8:16 AM

Dunno about all this, but I do see Brian offering details, Jerry offering indignation from afar. I take details any day.

Jerry Hudson from Phoenix  

Posted: February 1st, 2015 5:04 PM

Apart from your obvious problem with geography, I'm sure we're all impressed with your altruism and modesty. And it's our fault that you find yourself having to repeatedly remind us of what a wonderful person you are.

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: February 1st, 2015 12:00 PM

@Jerry: I wouldn't know either. I do know I tried to help, do lawn work, listen,bring food, work with this person. I am sure you did the same, I just didn't see you.

JH from Oak Park  

Posted: February 1st, 2015 11:44 AM

Hoping the homeowner gets the help he needs and much gratitude for our Fire Fighters.


Posted: February 1st, 2015 11:22 AM

This man, by all accounts and appearances, is ill and needs help. I hope he receives it. While his behavior is off putting, this is quite sad.

Jerry Hudson from Phoenix  

Posted: February 1st, 2015 10:39 AM

What kind of person enthusiastically rushes in to kick a man when he's down?

Brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: January 31st, 2015 9:02 PM

Sorry, Judy my comments are spot on and probably to kind. In my opinion, I worked w/Les to clean up his yard for no pay. I quit when he was collecting dog feces in plastic bags. He told me he didn't bathe to cause distress to all the females who spurned his advances. The fabric of his character has a rich hue and texture,most of it not nice, in my opinion.

Judy from Oak park  

Posted: January 31st, 2015 8:43 PM

Brian Slowiak, your comments are inappropriate and lack decency. Pray for our neighbor and his pets. Thank you to our firefighters!

brian Slowiak from Westchester  

Posted: January 31st, 2015 5:25 PM

There is a good chance the house is filled with junk and garbage. I say at least six dumpsters are filled and carted away with the trash from inside. With any luck, the house may have to be demolished.

Colette Ann Verdun from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: January 31st, 2015 4:53 PM

Cats usually hide from water and smoke. I hope the kitty turns up. Great work by firefighters. I'm glad they rescued the two dogs on the back porch.

Gary Mancuso  

Posted: January 31st, 2015 4:37 PM

Love our Fire Fighters. Good job!!

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