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posted: 7/14/2013 9:50 AM

Gurnee firefighters rescue man from burning home

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Firefighters are crediting thermal imaging cameras with saving the life of a young man during a residential fire early Sunday morning in Gurnee.

Gurnee fire Battalion Chief James Pellitteri said firefighters responding to the home in the 4400 block of McClure Avenue at 1:34 a.m. found smoke and fire in the upstairs unit of the two-story building.

When firefighters entered the first-floor unit, they found one victim conscious. That person was evaluated at the scene and released.

A second victim was discovered trapped and unconscious. Because visibility was low due to the smoke and fire, Pellitteri said firefighters used thermal imaging technology to locate the young man.

"Time was of the essence," Pellitteri said. "And (the technology) really helps us find the victim that much quicker."

The victim was revived and transported by a Zion ambulance to Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan.

"It didn't seem like he was going to make it," Pellitteri said. "To get a rescue like that is pretty remarkable. That TIC camera was the difference."

The fire is still under investigation, but Pellitteri said it originated in an upstairs room.

Damage has yet to be assessed.

No firefighters were injured in the blaze.

Firefighters from the Newport Township, Waukegan, Lake Villa, Zion, Beach Park, Libertyville and Mundelein departments assisted.

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