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Firefighter injured, building destroyed after fire in sub-zero conditions in Waukegan

Photo by the Waukegan Fire Department.

A firefighter was injured and several residents were displaced after a fire tore through a building in Waukegan early Monday morning amid sub-zero temperatures.

The Waukegan Fire Department responded around 3:30 a.m. to 452 North Jackson Street, which is near Grand Avenue, for a structure fire.

Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said that firefighters arrived and found heavy fire in a two-story taxpayer building, which has commercial units on the first floor and apartments above.

Photo by the Waukegan Fire Department.

“The extremely cold temperatures have made for a difficult incident with firefighters not only battling the fire, but dealing with freezing water in many different ways,” Lenzi said.

The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was utilized, bringing Grayslake, Great Lakes and Gurnee firefighters to the scene along with several other departments which covered Waukegan fire stations.

Photo by Deana Shults Wagner.

One firefighter suffered minor injuries after slipping on ice and several residents were displaced. Power outages and street closures were also reported near the fire early Monday morning, fire officials added.

At least one fire engine was towed away from the scene after ice covered it.

The building is expected to be demolished Monday evening after it was deemed a total loss. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Lenzi said.


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