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Wednesday, 26 January 2022 15:02

'Brutal' Temperatures as Antioch, IL, Firefighters Battle 5-Alarm Blaze

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Firefighters from Antioch, IL, and about two dozen neighboring departments had to battle both subzero temperatures and a raging inferno at a used car dealership early Jan. 26 in Lake Villa, IL.

Temperatures were reported at 14 degrees below zero when firefighters were called to the dealership on the 1600 block of North Milwaukee Ave. at about 3 a.m., Antioch Fire Chief Jon Cokefair said.

 

With heavy fire and smoke showing upon arrival, the call was ultimately upgraded to a five-alarm blaze because water needed to be transported into the area due to a lack of nearby hydrants.

 

Cokefair called the weather conditions "brutal," and fire crews were shuttled back and forth to a nearby warming bus to avoid hypothermia.

 

"Fortunately, we were able to secure a bus from Durham Bus Services to use as a warming station to help keep the guys warm," Cokefair said. "It was miserable."

 

Cokefair said one man, who he believes is the owner of the building, was taken to a hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation, and was treated and released. There were no reports of any injuries to fire personnel.

 

The fire was brought under control about 7 a.m., and fire personnel were on scene until 10:40 a.m.

 

Cokefair estimated more than 100,000 gallons of water were used to fight the fire.

 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. A damage estimate was not immediately available.

 

Milwaukee Avenue between Petite Lake Road and Grass Lake Road was closed for several hours, but it reopened once fire equipment had cleared the area.

 

We thank the Daily Herald for reprint permission.