Kitchen fire in Hinsdale high rise reported

Firefighters responded to a high-rise fire in Hinsdale. (Hinsdale Fire Department / May 8, 2014)

Hinsdale firefighters responded Tuesday to a kitchen fire in a high-rise building on the north side of the village.

The fire occurred about 9 p.m. at 21 Spinning Wheel, a 17-story multi-family high rise building located near Ogden Avenue and the TriState Tollway in Hinsdale.

A woman, who lives on the sixth floor where the fire occurred, called 911 because her kitchen was on fire, said Steve Tullis, public information officer for the Hinsdale Fire Department.

She was not in the apartment when the fire started.

"She was cooking on a frying pan on an electric stove and then she went across the hall to visit a neighbor and forgot it was on," Tullis said.

By the time firefighters responded Tuesday, the fire had been extinguished by an sprinkler head located in the kitchen. Smoke had filtered into the hallway, but no one was injured, he said.

The flames of the fire went up a kitchen wall and damaged a microwave oven, he said.

The apartment was occupied by a woman and her young child. Once they heard the fire alarm and saw the sprinkler system activate, they were able to safely leave the apartment, Tullis said.

When Hinsdale firefighters arrived an evacuation of the building was already in progress. About 20 to 25 people had left the building that has eight units per floor.

In high rise fires, Tullis said the department usually tells residents to stay inside their units unless the fire is in their apartment. If a lot of people leave the building at once Tullis said it impedes the department's ability to get up the staircase to respond to the fire.

Assistant Fire Chief Tim McElroy said it is a good thing the apartment was equipped with a sprinkler.

"Sprinkler systems save lives and protect property," he said. "In this case it saved many lives and helped protect a building from what could have been a major catastrophe," McElroy said.

Fire units from neighboring towns, including Oak Brook, Clarendon Hills, Western Springs, LaGrange and Downers Grove Fire Departments, also responded to this call, he said.

amannion@tribune.com