Hinsdale woman rescued from house fire; critically injured
An American flag and a Christmas wreath hang on the attached garage of a Hinsdale home where a fire started just before 4 a.m. Thursday while two family members slept. An elderly resident is in intensive care at Hinsdale Hospital.
Updated: March 4, 2013 4:32PM
HINSDALE — An elderly woman was critically injured early Thursday when fire ripped through her Hinsdale home. Her son was hospitalized and a family pet was killed.
Firefighters found the woman, who is in her early 90s, on the floor of a back bedroom in the tri-level home in the 900 block of South Bruner Street in Hinsdale, said Hinsdale Fire Chief Rick Ronovsky.
The blaze started about 3:50 a.m. and the woman’s adult son told responding firefighters his mother was trapped inside, Ronovsky said.
When firefighters arrived at 3:55 a.m at the home near the end of a cul-de-sac, they saw the overhead door to the attached garage open and flames coming out of the doorway leading to the two-story home, said Fire Department spokesman Steve Tullis.
One fire crew battled the blaze while another went in through the garage to search for the woman, Ronovsky said. Firefighters found her unresponsive in a back room behind the kitchen area and took her in critical condition to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.
Her son was “stable” at the scene and taken to Hinsdale Hospital for smoke inhalation, Ronovsky said. Nobody else was inside the home, but the family dog was killed in the blaze.
Belongings were stored in the garage and throughout the house which made fighting the fire and determining its cause difficult, Tullis said.
Firefighters elevated the blaze to a two-alarm fire to get extra crews on scene because of the cold weather. The fire was extinguished at 4:14 a.m.
“The fire was very instense,” Tullis said. “At least one room (a back bedroom) was fully involved. There was fire in the basement, fire in the stairwell to the second floor. The kitchen and front room were filled with smoke down to the floor, but no flames. Had we gotten there later the whole house would have caught on fire and she would not have been survivable.”
The woman was not burned by the flames, but she remains in intensive care.
The son discovered the fire in his bedroom when he got up to use the bathroom, Tullis said. The house had smoke detectors, but Fire Department officials do not know if they were working.
The home sustained smoke and water damage and was uninhabitable, Ronovsky said. A damage estimate was not immediately available, according to a statement from the village of Hinsdale.
Firefighters from Clarendon Hills, Westmont, Western Springs, Downers Grove, Tri State, La Grange, LaGrange Park, Pleasantview, Darien, Woodridge, Riverside and Lyons, Lombard and Elmhurst assisted. Paramedics from Oak Brook Oakbrook Terrace and Lemont also assisted.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but appears to be accidental, according to the statement.