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They Keep Building Them …. They Keep Burning Them

"We Don't Expect To Have A Fire"

ONCE AGAIN A McMANSION BURNS down because there is no water.  This time in Inverness, Illinois, up in Chicagoland.  Builders are continually allowed to toss up housing developments in rural areas that have no established water supply, let alone hydrants, to protect the homes from fire and once they get going, they go all the way.

ChicagoAreaFire's Larry Shapiro caught this one that went to three alarms and brought 11 engines, 5 trucks and 9 tankers to the job.  The ChicagoAreaFire news page reported:

Homeowners at 14 Carnoustie Lane in Inverness called the Palatine Rural FPD and reported fire in the attic of their house shortly before 5PM on Tuesday. The large home is located in an area without hydrants roughly 1/2 mile from the fire station. First arriving companies attempted an interior attack and were forced to retreat and change to a defensive strategy. Heavy fire took hold of the attic and self vented through the roof as the alarm was escalated for additional units and water tankers. Two Palatine Rural firefighters from the initial attack company were subsequently transported to an area hospital.

A tanker shuttle was initiated as Palatine Tower 85 was put to work with an elevated master stream. The temperature as companies arrived was 94 degrees with a heat index near 100 degrees. A 2nd alarm was struck for additional tankers and then a 3rd alarm was requested when all companies in the staging area had been depleted.

ShapPhoto provided this video report from the scene:


The fire was marked out just before 9 pm.

Read and view ChicagoAreaFire's always excellent photo article on the fire HERE.
In addition, Larry Shapiro has a 132-image photo gallery HERE.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Legeros

    I’ll bite. Should big homes be discouraged in rural areas!? Those without hydrants or nearby ponds!? Or should they be discouraged if built without sprinklers?

    • firegeezer

      I don’t think they should be discouraged at all.  It’s the homeowner’s choice on whether they want to chance it or not.  The problem is, they never give it a thought.  Although I believe the local government has a responsibility to better control where developents like this are situated.  A homeowner who chooses to build in an isolated spot is one thing, but an entire development should be more tightly controlled.

      Sez Firegeezer

  • Mikey Jones

    The only way to curb this practice is to involve the insurance companies. Although I get sick at the idea, only insurance companies can tell builders that they (the insurance companies) won’t insure housing that doesn’t have decent fire protection. Only then will builders spend the additional money for piped in and pressurized water and fire hydrants, as well as other fire safety systems and devices.

  • Roger

    All that energy spent by the crews and the end result was the same had they just let the thing burn…insurance will level whats left and build a new one. When the dump tanks go up…. the building comes down!


    The majority of the U.S is rural…therefore, there are no hydrants. That is why rural departments must pre-plan their strategy with tanker supplies. This is not a contractor problem.

  • GAK

    The homeowner knows the answer because when they got their homeowners,Two of the questions asked are how close is the nearest hydrant and how close is the nearest fire station. I used to field questions all the time in the station from new homeowner and insurance agents asking those questions.. The locality CAN require developers to establish a water system for the development, if they so chose. It is up to us a firefighters and fire officers to know what is going on in our first due area. Pre-plan those developments and establish a game plan ahead of time. Note in your pre-incident survey where the nearest water sources and how far away. How much water capacity does it have to supply? Is it a pond, lake or stream. Does it diminish in the heat of the summer or is it constant? Your IFSTA manuals have the formula’s to figure out water capacity, use them, be ahead of the game and you will be better prepared when the next Mcmansion goes up in flames

  • B.Morgan

    SPRINKLERS! But we all know that even when building a expensive home in a remote area there will never be a reason to expend the extra $$ just so the developer can make more profit, and besides it’s insured.