Chicago Fires on the rise, Chicago Water Department responds in support.

Chicago Fire 28nov2010 1.jpg Many people are not aware the City of Chicago, Department of Water Management responds to fires. Lately, the Department sends the Investigator crews. In the old days, the hydrant truck would respond. The Hydrant Truck will soon be working around the clock, seven days a week. If you have clout, this overtime is given to the same caulkers seven days a week. All members of this union pay very high dues. This overtime is not rotated because Plumber’s Local 130 does not represent its members. The same guys that get this plush overtime also take overtime year round. James Sullivan at the Plumber’s Local 130 should stop playing around with the politicians and take care of his members. What suggestions do you have to get the water department response truck to the site sooner? If we have no water at the site, more people will die. Photo by Patrick McDonough

One Reply to “Chicago Fires on the rise, Chicago Water Department responds in support.”

  1. Fire destroys home, family loses ‘everything’
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    November 28, 2010

    BY MARY HOULIHAN Staff Reporter/[email protected]
    After working his job as a night shift janitor, Telma Arevalo was looking forward to a quiet Sunday morning with his family.

    Instead, he got the unexpected as he drove down his street and saw firefighters battling a blaze in the two-flat he’d bought only four months ago.

    “We’ve lost everything,” a shaken Arevalo, said. “Now we’ll have to see what happens.”

    The fire started on the wooden back porch of the brick building. The cause is still under investigation.

    Arevalo said his wife, Anita Urgiles, 40, and their five children ages 2-20 lived on the first floor. They escaped unharmed. Two men who rented the upstairs apartment were asleep and rescued by firefighters. Both suffered smoke inhalation and were hospitalized in serious condition.

    Around 9 a.m., Urgiles, 40, heard a popping noise and then smelled smoke. She said she immediately got the children out and screamed to the tenants.

    Her 12-year-old Katherine called 911.

    “I was scared and they told me to calm down,” Katherine said. “I gave them the address and the fire trucks were here really fast.”

    Javier Montanez Santiago was asleep in the basement apartment when he heard Urgiles screaming. His salvaged possessions now fit in two small crates.

    “The smoke alarms went off and there was a lot of smoke everywhere,” Santiago, 35, said as he waited to get back into his flooded home. “It was very scary.”

    A fire lieutenant who was working the fire was also hurt but he suffered minor injuries. He was in fair condition at an undisclosed hospital, according to police officials.

    Arevalo, 38, spent his days renovating the brick building. He’d recently painted the interior walls and replaced all the windows in each apartment. Now many were smashed.

    “What’s important is that everyone got out,” Arevalo, 38, said. “You just never think something like this will happen to you. Now we’ll have to wait, and talk to the insurance people and see what we can do here.”

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