Arlington Heights firefighters say putting out a house fire in frigid temperatures Tuesday afternoon was made easier because residents had cleared snow away from nearby hydrants, and firefighters were able to take breaks in a warming bus.
The fire in a split-level two-story house on the 1600 block of Yale Avenue was reported at 12:15 p.m. When firefighters arrived, fire was coming from the roof. They went to the rear yard to get better access at attacking the flames, said Battalion Chief Bill Essling.
The blaze was brought under control within an hour.
"Everything moved slower between the snow in the yard, and getting ladders and hoses back to the side of the house. But the hydrants were dug out. Kudos to the people in the neighborhood," Essling said.
"If you have a hydrant on your street, dig it out, because you may be the guys needing it. We were able to get water right away into the fire. It all went well, considering the temperature and snow."
Essling said the Mount Prospect Fire Department brought a warming van for firefighters to periodically come in and warm up. Temperatures hovered near -2 degrees at the time of the fire.
No injuries were reported, and the homeowner had safely evacuated the house by the time firefighters arrived. The homeowner was the one who called 911 to report the fire, Essling said.
He said the fire caused "substantial" damage, particularly to the roof, attic, and second-floor bathroom. The house was uninhabitable.
Fire and police department investigators were still working to determine a cause of the fire.