Massive fire demolishes home, injures 2 firefighters - KMSP-TV

Massive Crystal Lake fire destroys home, injures 2 firefighters

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

One home burned to the ground and three others are damaged after a fire broke out in far northwestern Crystal Lake Wednesday.

Fortunately, no one in any of the homes was injured, but two firefighters sustained injuries while battling the flames.

Officials said the fire started around 3:30 p.m. in a home in the 3200-block of Carrington Drive.

A neighbor, who had just returned home, recalled hearing a loud boom at that house, but thought it was a worker on the back deck who had dropped something. She says it didn't sound like an explosion.

To her surprise, the entire house was quickly engulfed in fire.

"I started feeling a very intense heat," Judi Stephens recalls. "I came outside and looked and by that time, the whole entire back house was engulfed in flames from the ground the whole way up to the roof. It worked it's way forward extremely rapidly and just became an inferno very very quickly."

Battling the fire turned out to be a great challenge for the Crystal Lake Fire Department. The neighborhood has no fire hydrants, so the water needed to fight the flames had to be trucked in.

Several dozen neighboring fire departments from Lake, Cook, McHenry and Kane Counties came to assist, but the home could not be saved. All that remains of that home is the brick chimney and the stone archway over the front door.

The fire also spread to three homes across the street.

"We had about 25mph winds that aided in the embers and everything else travelling across the street and igniting the roofs sustaining the damage that way," Crystal Lake firefighter Christopher Olsen explains.

One of the homes across the street was severely damaged. Neighbor Jim Schultz tried to extinguish the fire on his roof with a garden hose, but the fire department pulled him away.

He was just grateful nobody was hurt.

"I had this house built. I bought this land 18 years ago. Sure, we raised our daughter here. But, it's a house. Nobody was hurt. Obviously, I wish it hadn't happend, but I'm not shaken up about it," Shultz said.

The firefighters injured by the heat are expected to fully recover. The cause of the fire remains unknown.

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