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Fire crews battle a blaze at 119th and Sheridan in downtown Whiting Sunday night (Photo by Carole Brozovich)
Whiting fire crews were still looking for and fighting hotspots Monday at a century-old building at 119th and Sheridan that burned Sunday night, displacing several residents who lived in apartments in the three-story structure. The building also housed a dress shop. The cause has not yet been determined. There were no reports of injuries.
Whiting Fire Chief Gus Danielides says the frigid temperatures definitely made battling the blaze even more challenging, as crews in the bucket truck dealt with the wind, water and flames: "Your feet get cold, you're spraying water, once in a while, you get a big plume of smoke that comes right in your face... your gloves freezing, your radio freezing, your mic's freezing, you're pressing the button trying to communicate, it's just frozen," Chief Danielides said. On the ground, very difficult, too: "Icy conditions, the black ice did come into play," as a few firefighters fell, but no one was hurt.
Food, clothing, and monetary donations were collected for residents Monday at the Whiting Elks Lodge, thanks to a donation drive organized by sixth-graders at St. John the Baptist Catholic School in Whiting.