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Firefighters encounter ammunition exploding during house fire in Zion

A fire in the 2300 block of Carmel Avenue in Zion caused damage to a home Thursday evening, fire officials said. | Photo: Google Street View.

Investigators with the state fire marshal are assisting in an investigation after ammunition began “cooking off” during a house fire in Zion Thursday evening.

The Zion Fire Rescue Department responded around 10:10 p.m. Thursday to the 2300 block of Carmel Avenue for a report of a structure fire.

Zion Fire Rescue Department Lt. Ian Kennedy said firefighters arrived to find moderate smoke and flames coming from a single-family split-level home.

Multiple people were present at the time of the fire, including disabled adults. The family was able to evacuate and get everyone out before firefighters arrived.

Fire crews encountered “ammunition cooking off in the fire area” and were unable to immediately enter the home, Kennedy said.

Firefighters surveyed the exterior of the home and made a transitional attack, quickly extinguishing the main body of fire.

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The quick extinguishment stopped additional ammunition from firing off, Kennedy said.

Firefighters conducted overhaul and made sure the fire was fully out. The Zion Building Department was called to the scene to evaluate the home for occupancy.

The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal was called to assist Zion and Newport fire investigators into the cause of the fire, which remains under investigation.

No injuries were reported to the home’s occupants or firefighters. The house sustained $50,000 in damages.

Over two dozen firefighters responded to the scene from Zion, Winthrop Harbor, Pleasant Prairie, Newport, Beach Park and Gurnee fire departments.

North Chicago and Libertyville fire departments covered calls in Zion during the incident.