As a Flossmoor house burned Saturday, firefighters safely removed a victim through a window to a waiting ambulance.
Three search-and-rescue firefighters inside the house transferred the victim, a 90-year-old woman, to another three-member firefighting team outside the team, Flossmoor Assistant Fire Chief Keith Damm said Monday. The victim was discovered in a hallway in the house, located on the 2000 block of Hagen Lane.
The fire was not burning in the hallway, Damm said. But the fire was raging in the living room so the victim could not be moved out through the front door.
Once outside the house, the victim was put on a waiting stretcher and transported to Franciscan St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields in a Thornton Fire Department ambulance. She suffered smoke inhalation in the fire.
On Monday, the victim’s daughter, Denise M. Tropp, was charged with aggravated arson and attempted first degree murder. Police said Tropp admitted starting the fire following a dispute with her mother over cigarettes and her cell phone.
The fire was reported at 7:50 p.m on Saturday. An explosion, which may have been caused by an oxygen tank, blew out windows in the house.
Damm said fire damage was mostly to the living room and the kitchen with smoke damage throughout the house. “In my opinion, the house can be repaired and should not require demolition,” he said.
Six fire departments and a total of 28 firefighters took part in efforts to control the blaze. Besides Flossmoor, fire departments from Homewood, Hazel Crest, Chicago Heights, Glenwood and Thornton were on the scene. An engine from Tinley Park and an ambulance from Steger also assisted at Flossmoor’s fire station.
Damm said the response to Saturday’s blaze shows the value of the regular training in fire departments throughout the area.
“Firefighters from Flossmoor and all of the departments that assisted us are very well trained and spend many hours each week training to ensure that all victims are quickly rescued and the fire extinguished with as little damage to the residence as possible,” Damm said.
“Saturday night’s fire shows just how much the hard work and training pays off for the Flossmoor firefighters and all the firefighters in our surrounding communities.”