Harlem Roscoe Firefighters were dispatched at 12:58am on Nov. 6 for a house fire at 8438 Elevator Road. It was raining and wind gusts were 20 - 30mph. First-in unit reported severe fire conditions on the first floor of a two-story single family residence. Additional assistance was requested from MABAS. There were five family members inside the home at the time of the fire. Three people had self-evacuated prior to the departments arrival and fire units were informed that two family members were still in the home. Firefighters initiated a coordinated attack with search and rescue to locate them. Two victims were located in a first floor bedroom. Alan Bekielewski was pronounced at the scene by the Winnebago County Coroner. His 2-year old son, Orin, was transported to the hospital by a Harlem Roscoe Fire ambulance and pronounced at the hospital. The other two family members and a family friend were transported to the hospital for further medical evaluation.
The cause of the fire is undetermined and under investigation by the IL State Fire Marshal. Harlem-Roscoe Fire Chief Don Shoevlin says, "I would like to thank all mutual aid companies who assisted on our fire. I am so proud of my firefighters and support staff for the job they did. The tenacity they put forth in this horrible incident with their commitment to the task at hand while having to over come so many emotions. I am honored to be able to work alongside each and everyone of them. I also ask us all to keep the family in our hearts and prayers"