LAKE FOREST — A mother and her adult son escaped injury but were displaced from their ranch home by a fire in north central Lake Forest during the early morning hours of August 18, according to Lake Forest Fire Department Administrative Battalion Chief Mike Gallo.
The fire started in the basement of the house, and the first floor quickly filled with smoke, according to a news release from the Lake Forest Fire Department. The two residents and their two dogs evacuated the home before the fire department arrived.
When firefighters got to the house, they found “floor to ceiling smoke,” which made it harder to navigate their way to the basement and douse the fire, according to Gallo. He said learning from the residents the likely origin of the fire was in the basement was helpful.
“No smoke was coming out the windows but no one was going in without an air pack,” Gallo said in a DailyNorthShore interview. “We had intel it was in the basement. They had to feel their way around the first floor to find the basement stairs because of the smoke.”
Gallo said the home is uninhabitable and the residents are seeking other shelter. They are working with the Red Cross.
Neither the residents, their dogs nor any of the firefighters were injured.
Damage to the building is estimated at $50,000, according to the release. The cause is under investigation.
The Lake Forest Fire Department was assisted by firefighters from departments in Lake Bluff, Knollwood, Deerfield, North Chicago, Libertyville, Countryside, Mundelein and Northbrook.