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Firefighters injured, two dogs found dead after house fire in Waukegan

Firefighters work to extinguish a house fire in the 500 block of McAlister Avenue in Waukegan early Wednesday morning. | Photo: Max Weingardt.

Seven residents were displaced, two firefighters were injured and two dogs were found dead following a well-engulfed house fire in Waukegan, officials said.

The Waukegan Fire Department and Waukegan Police Department responded around 2 a.m. Wednesday to the 500 block of McAlister Avenue for a report of a house fire.

Firefighters arrived and found heavy flames showing from the front of the residence, according to Waukegan Fire Marshal Todd Zupec.

Crews initiated an aggressive attack to subdue the fire, which had spread to interior walls and the attic area.

“Unfortunately once the fire is able to get inside the walls and attic spaces of these old structures, it becomes very labor intensive for our Firefighters,” Zupec said.

The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was activated to bring firefighters from Gurnee, North Chicago and Deerfield along with other several other departments who covered Waukegan’s calls.

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Firefighters work to extinguish a house fire in the 500 block of McAlister Avenue in Waukegan early Wednesday morning. | Photo: Max Weingardt.

The occupants of the home were able to evacuate before firefighters arrived and none of them were injured, Zupec said. Two Waukegan firefighters had minor injuries.

Two dogs were found dead inside the residence. Seven occupants were displaced and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

“The crews did an exceptional job in attacking the fire. [They] were able to keep the fire from spreading to the neighboring structures,” Zupec said.

Initial damage estimates are approximately $180,000. Firefighters were on the scene for approximately three and a half hours.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. “I would like to remind everyone of the importance of smoke alarms. Please test and make sure you have properly operating smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your homes,” Zupec added.