Floor collapses during Algonquin house fire

Fire at two-story, new construction home was out within 45 minutes; cause and damage estimates not immediately available

Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District was dispatched for a structure fire at 10:08 a.m. Tuesday, March 28, 2023, in the 500 block of Harrison Street in Algonquin.

A firefighter was taken to the hospital for a non-life-threatening injury after Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District crews responded Tuesday morning to a fire at a two-story, single-family home under construction in Algonquin.

Crews were dispatched at 10:08 a.m. Tuesday to the structure fire in the 500 block of Harrison Street where those first on the scene found smoke and fire coming from the home’s first floor, according to a news release from the department.

The fire appears to have started in the basement of the new construction, which backs up to the Fox River, Fire Chief John Knebl said.

The structure, Knebl said, was newly dry-walled and taped, not yet sided and had “some” electrical work, posing a “real dangerous” situation for firefighters.

“Everything is still opened up and that allows for fire to (spread) to different floors,” he said.

At one point, firefighters felt a portion of the first floor feeling “spongey,” Knebl said. It eventually gave way and crashed into the English basement below. Firefighters were pulled out of the structure prior to the floor collapsing and had to reevaluate their approach.

“There is (now) a big hole in the rear of the house toward where the kitchen would be,” he said.

The cause or cost of the fire was still unknown late Tuesday.

“It is considered accidental at this time,” Knebl said.

The injured firefighter cut a finger while trying to open an entry way into the house. He was treated and released from the hospital Tuesday.

A search of the home and garage was completed, according to the release. No one was working on the house at the time of the fire, which was under control within about 45 minutes.

The Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District was assisted by the Algonquin Police Department, Cary Fire Protection District, Huntley Fire Protection District, Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department, SEECOM dispatch center, Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District and Fox River Grove Fire Protection District.

Village of Algonquin plows applied salt to the street due to water run-off from the fire attack crews, according to the release.

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