Rock Falls, Sterling fire departments’ training halted by real house fire

Dog pulled from burning house survived, Whiteside County Health Department said.

A firefighter administers oxygen to the family dog that was rescued from the house fire Wednesday, May 1, 2024. After being transported from the scene, the dog was alert and walking around.

ROCK FALLS – A firefighter training session in Rock Falls was interrupted about 20 minutes in when participants were called to an actual fire about nine blocks away.

The Rock Falls and Sterling fire departments responded to 204 E. 11th St., Rock Falls, about 10 a.m. Wednesday.

“I heard a boom, and I think one of my neighbors heard it, too,” said Anthony Felder, who lives on 10th Street. “Right after the boom, there was a firetruck or ambulance already coming. I don’t know if somebody had already called about a fire or not, but next thing I know, they’re just coming and coming.”

At least four fire departments responded, along with CGH ambulances, Nicor Gas, a code enforcement officer and Whiteside County Animal Control.

A dog was removed from the residence and given oxygen at the scene by firefighters until it was picked up by Animal Control, a Shaw Local reporter witnessed.

The dog survived, said Cory Law, Whiteside County Health Department assistant director of public health.

“I have been informed that the animal is aware and alert and walking around,” Law told Shaw Local at 2:20 p.m. “According to Animal Control, there were some concerns early on, but oxygen was provided to the animal, and they are alert and walking.”

The dog’s owner was expected to collect the animal shortly, he said.

As of 2 p.m., firefighters still were at the scene, along with Nicor and an investigator from the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office, Rock Falls Deputy Fire Chief Kyle Sommers said.

Additional information is not yet available, Sommers said.

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Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner

Alexa Zoellner reports on Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties for Shaw Media out of the Dixon office. Previously, she worked for the Record-Eagle in Traverse City, Michigan, and the Daily Jefferson County Union in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin.