A man was hospitalized with critical injuries and a firefighter was also injured after an alert officer spotted a house fire that ended up displacing nine residents in Woodstock Monday morning.
The Woodstock Fire/Rescue District responded around 5:10 a.m. Monday to the 200 block of South Jefferson Street in Woodstock for a report of a structure fire.
A vigilant Woodstock police officer was passing through the area and reported the fire, according to Woodstock Fire/Rescue District Communication Specialist Alex Vucha.
The officer began alerting the occupants of the home while the fire department was en route.
Vucha said initial reports indicated a large fire with someone trapped on the third floor.
Firefighters arrived on the scene within four minutes and confirmed a working fire in the rear of the home.
All occupants had been evacuated by the time the fire department arrived.
Several hose lines were deployed and an interior fire attack was quickly initiated, Vucha said.
The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was activated to the box alarm level for additional resources to the scene and to cover fire stations in Woodstock.
Seven neighboring fire departments responded to the aid request.
An adult male occupant was critically injured during the fire, Vucha said.
A medical helicopter was requested due to the extent of his injuries but the helicopter was unavailable to fly due to weather conditions.
The victim was transported by ambulance to Northwestern Medicine Hospital in Huntley.
A firefighter suffered minor injuries and was transported to Northwestern Medicine Hospital in Woodstock.
Vucha said two pet turtles were rescued from the residence by firefighters.
The fire was marked under control within 45 minutes but overhaul and investigation continued until 10 a.m.
The home sustained heavy smoke and water damage throughout and is considered uninhabitable until repairs can be made.
All nine occupants of the home, which did not have working smoke detectors, are receiving housing and other aid assistance from the American Red Cross, Vucha said.
Investigators believe the fire began on the rear deck of the home and quickly extended to the attic. Damage estimates are currently undetermined.
The cause of the fire is not believed to be suspicious in nature but remains under investigation by the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District.