The Waukegan Fire Department was called to three fires on Christmas Eve and an early morning fire on Christmas Day as the Chicago area experienced brutally cold weather, authorities said.
In the first incident, at approximately 1:30 a.m. Thursday, emergency crews responded to Hillary's BBQ, 2021 N. Lewis Ave., where firefighters located heavy fire in the barbecue pit, extending into the chimney and remainder of the building structure. The fire, which was quickly extinguished, resulted in approximately $50,000 in damages, according to a news release from the Waukegan Fire Department.
Restaurant staff was working overnight, preparing for Christmas Eve, when the fire broke out.
Several hours later, at approximately 7:45 p.m., firefighters were called to a single family residence in the 2100 block of 9th Parkway where they encountered heavy fire in an attached single car garage. The fire, which extended into a breezeway, was quickly extinguished.
The amount of damage was estimated at $60,000, officials stated. One firefighter was injured when they slipped on ice while on the scene.
In the third incident, before 5 a.m. on Christmas Day, fire crews responded to 18 S. Genesse St. for a fire at a building that was in the process of being demolished.
All utilities were off in the structure and two floors of the three-floor building had already been removed by the demolition company, authorities stated. The partially-demolished structure made fighting the fire difficult, creating many hidden areas that required a heavy excavator to provide access for firefighters to extinguish the blaze, officials said.
Fire crews also dealt with below zero wind chills and extremely icy conditions.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation Friday afternoon.
Four families, totaling 12 people, were displaced from their homes due to the water damage. The American Red Cross responded to the scene to assist the displaced individuals.
No injuries were reported.