LINCOLNWOOD, Ill. (STMW) — A half-a-million dollar blaze on Monday ravaged the first floor and basement of a two-story home in Lincolnwood and injured one firefighter.

The fire was reported about 3:30 p.m. after an occupant of the newer brick house at 6531 St. Louis Ave. smelled smoke and heard a crackling sound coming from the basement, said Lincolwood Fire Chief Michael Hanson.

“Smoke was coming from the basement when we arrived at the scene and we tried to get in, but the fire already was pretty extensive there at the time. We got halfway down the stairs and the floor felt spongy, so I had to get the crews out, because it was too dangerous to be in there,” Hanson said.

A Lincolnwood firefighter who suffered chest pains at the site was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, but everyone in the house when the fire was discovered escaped without injury, Hanson said.

The conditions also resulted in Hanson calling a second alarm that brought help from more than a dozen communities, which responded with more than 90 firefighters — including units from Skokie, Niles, Park Ridge and Wilmette, as well as Chicago.

Investigators also will be coming from different communities to help determine the cause of the fire, which is believed to have started in the basement, Hanson said.

“We opened the attic to get some of the smoke out, but the house is extensively damaged. I would guess at this point that the damage will be more than half a million. It was a very nice house,” he added.

— Pioneer Press, via the Sun-Times Media Wire

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2011. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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