Off-duty Buffalo Grove firefighter saves dog from burning Round Lake home

For firefighters, time off can become time in the line of duty in an instant.

That was the case last week, when Buffalo Grove firefighter/paramedic Adam Schroeder's dedication led him to rescue a German shepherd trapped in a burning home.

Schroeder was off work and driving down Route 120 toward his parents' house about 10 a.m. Jan. 10, when he passed an old farmhouse in Round Lake.

"I saw a little bit of smoke from a house," said Schroeder, who's been with the Buffalo Grove department for about three years. "I made a U-turn, pulled in the driveway, called 911 and told them I was on the scene of a house fire."

Schroeder began knocking on the home's doors. Over the sound of smoke detectors, he heard barking.

As police began arriving, Schroeder kicked down the door, allowing the dog to escape. The dog, he noted, was a bit excited and "wasn't thrilled with a bunch of people being on his property."

Ed Lescher, deputy chief of the Fox Lake Fire Protection District, said the home's owners were in Chicago when fire broke out.

"The owner came to the scene while we were still there. He came back from Chicago and was able to take custody of the dog. His dog was perfectly fine," he said.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about a half-hour, but the home was left uninhabitable.

"There was pretty significant damage to the kitchen and the adjacent room," Lescher said. "But the house is still standing, and they will be able to repair it."

Schroeder has been honored for lifesaving efforts before. Last year, he was among the Buffalo Grove firefighters recognized by the village board for helping to rescue someone trapped inside a vehicle that became partially submerged in a frozen pond.

Schroeder is modest about his efforts during the Round Lake fire. Anyone in that situation would have done the same thing, he said.

"I don't really think I did anything out of the ordinary there," he said.

But Buffalo Grove Battalion Chief Andy Russell said he is proud of what his fellow firefighter did for the family.

"Typically, when we show up, people are having their worst days," he said. "Anything that we can do to make that worst day a little bit better we're out there to do."

  A Buffalo Grove firefighter is being praised for saving a dog from this house in Round Lake after it caught fire last week. Paul Valade/
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