CHICAGO (WBBM) – High winds and fire kept firefighters’ hands full Wednesday afternoon, with three significant fires in the space of two hours.
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Three firefighters suffered minor injuries.
Two of the firefighters were shocked by wires blown down by the high winds. One was hurt fighting a garage fire, at about 2 p.m., at 4350 W. Division St., and another at about 3 p.m., as a vacant two-and-a-half-story home at 1711 W. Altgeld St. burned down, causing moderate heat, smoke and water damage to the 2-1/2 story buildings on either side of it.
The third firefighter twisted an ankle on slippery stairs fighting the Altgeld fire. Chicago Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff said firefighters checked every building within a block of the Altgeld fire, and extinguished burning embers, shingles and other debris on several rooftops.
Although all received treatment from paramedics at the scene and did not require hospitalization, Hoff said the high winds could make even the smallest of fires treacherous.
“The wind accelerates the fire. It’s like putting a fan on a fire,” said Hoff, who raced from fire to fire.
Firefighters with ladders rescued four people at about 4 p.m. from an apartment building fire at 1611 W. Garfield Blvd. All received treatment from paramedics but refused hospitalization.