- 106 S. McKendrie Ave Structure Fire -
At 02:42 hours, May 5th, 2008 Ogle County 911 center received multiple calls for smoke in an apartment building at 106 S. McKendrie Ave., the Countryside Village Apartments, in the Village of Mt. Morris. Mt. Morris Fire was dispatch to the scene. Mt. Morris Fire arrived on scene and found a three story, wood frame 33 unit apartment building. Initial Mt. Morris Fire Companies found heavy smoke in the south end of the second floor hallway. The building fire alarm was sounding and a few of the 32 residents in the building at the time of the fire were self- evacuating. Firefighters assisted residents in evacuating from the structure using interior stairwells and one resident was removed by ladder from her window, this was due to the smoke in the hallway. Simultaneously firefighters located a second floor apartment to be on fire. While extinguishing the fire and searching the apartment for life, the apartments sole occupant was found on the floor of the bedroom deceased. The occupant was that of the apartment, a 62-year-old male, Frank Hollenbeck. The fire was extinguished by 03:00 hours. Firefighters remained on scene performing salvage and overhaul of the building until approximately0 9:30 am. Most mutual aid companies were released by 04:30 hours.
All but two residents were able to return to their apartments by late today. The Lee County Red Cross was called in to assist with the occupants of the building. They were able to help take care of the resident’s initial needs. The two displaced occupants will be able to stay with friends and family until their apartments are habitable.
Initial damage estimates to the building are $50,000. This estimate is including any of the resident’s personal contents.
Mt. Morris Fire did request a MABAS Box 15 to the second alarm level for additional assistance, the assistance was as follows:Byron Fire, Dixon City Fire, Dixon Rural Fire, Forreston Fire, German Valley Ambulance, Leaf River Fire, Oregon Fire, Polo Fire, Stillman Fire
Mt. Morris Police, Mt. Morris Fire and the Office of the State Fire Marshal performed a joint investigation. The investigation is still ongoing, however, the fire does not appear to be incendiary, and it appears to be accidental with no foul play suspected. An autopsy is scheduled on the deceased later in the day.