Breaking News Bar
updated: 2/3/2013 4:53 PM

Huntley apartment fire kills resident, leaves others homeless

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • A firefighter works at the scene of a fatal apartment fire Sunday morning in the Woodcreek Apartments complex in Huntley. Officials said one man was killed and about a dozen other residents were displaced by the early morning fire.

       A firefighter works at the scene of a fatal apartment fire Sunday morning in the Woodcreek Apartments complex in Huntley. Officials said one man was killed and about a dozen other residents were displaced by the early morning fire.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • Debris is left at the scene of a fatal apartment fire Sunday morning in the Woodcreek Apartments complex in Huntley. Officials said one man was killed and about a dozen other residents were displaced by the early morning fire.

       Debris is left at the scene of a fatal apartment fire Sunday morning in the Woodcreek Apartments complex in Huntley. Officials said one man was killed and about a dozen other residents were displaced by the early morning fire.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • Tim Olk of 1-800 Board Up works at the scene of a fatal apartment fire Sunday morning in the Woodcreek Apartments complex in Huntley. Officials said one man was killed and about a dozen other residents were displaced by the early morning fire.

       Tim Olk of 1-800 Board Up works at the scene of a fatal apartment fire Sunday morning in the Woodcreek Apartments complex in Huntley. Officials said one man was killed and about a dozen other residents were displaced by the early morning fire.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • Firefighters roll up hoses at the scene of a fatal apartment fire Sunday morning in the Woodcreek Apartments complex in Huntley. Officials said one man was killed and about a dozen other residents were displaced by the early morning fire.

       Firefighters roll up hoses at the scene of a fatal apartment fire Sunday morning in the Woodcreek Apartments complex in Huntley. Officials said one man was killed and about a dozen other residents were displaced by the early morning fire.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

  • A firefighter works at the scene of a fatal apartment fire Sunday morning in the Woodcreek Apartments complex in Huntley. Officials said one man was killed and about a dozen other residents were displaced by the early morning fire.

       A firefighter works at the scene of a fatal apartment fire Sunday morning in the Woodcreek Apartments complex in Huntley. Officials said one man was killed and about a dozen other residents were displaced by the early morning fire.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer

 

Allen "Al" R. Jacobs got into a car accident as a teenager that left him without the use of his legs. Longtime friend Randy Albrecht said Jacobs always feared his death would come when something happened and he wouldn't be able to get away.

Albrecht, of Lake in the Hills, stood outside the charred remains of Jacobs' apartment building Sunday, thinking about the life of his 47-year-old friend, cut short after an early morning blaze.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

The Huntley Fire Protection District responded at 6:12 a.m. to the fire in a six-unit building of Woodcreek Apartments, 11702 Woodcreek Drive, Huntley. The fire started in Jacobs' first-floor apartment and spread up through the second- and third-floor units above his.

Fire Chief Kenneth Caudle said firefighters withstood single digit temperatures outside while battling the fire.

"Extreme temperatures always make things take a little bit longer than normal," Caudle said, adding that firefighters can only work so long in such frigid air before needing a break. "That's why we called for extra help right away."

Fifteen neighboring departments responded to aid the Huntley Fire Protection District Sunday morning. One Huntley firefighter suffered a minor injury, for which he was taken to Sherman Hospital in Elgin, treated and released, Caudle said.

Residents in the five other units got out of the building without injury.

Luis Rosales and his family lives in the apartment two floors above Jacobs'. Rosales said he smelled the smoke and saw it coming through the vents in his apartment just before his family left. They didn't have renters' insurance and grappled Sunday with the loss of most of their belongings.

Rosales said the family would stay with relatives for the next few days and then move into another building in the Woodcreek Apartments complex. They returned to their apartment Sunday afternoon to pack up clothes, electronics and other possessions that survived the smoke damage.

Flames did reach the third floor, though, and Rosales pointed to his charred mattress on the ground outside the apartment building.

Once police and fire officials cleared the scene, workers arrived to cover the blown-out windows with plywood. Neighbors drove slowly by, taking in the burned, wet items that were thrown out of the apartments in the cleanup. Icicles hung from the porches, crystallized evidence of the fire hoses' work earlier that morning.

Albrecht said Jacobs was a great guy who especially liked computers and college basketball. He spent his entire adult life in a wheelchair, but Albrecht said he still got around and truly lived.

"He accepted what happened to him and kept going," Albrecht said.

The Huntley Police and Fire departments are jointly investigating the fire along with the Office of the State Fire Marshal. The fire does not appear suspicious, according to the fire district. Investigators believe it may have been started accidentally.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.