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Early morning today, September 19, at 12:27 a.m., Evanston engine 23 was returning to quarters from an automatic fire alarm. When they reached the 2300 block of Ridge Avenue, they noticed a distinct smell of something burning in the area. Engine 23 proceeded to park and walk up and down Ridge Avenue, finding a 2- story single family residence with activated smoke detectors and full of smoke.

Engine 23 immediately upgraded the alarm and went to work extinguishing the fire. As other companies arrived to assist, it was determined the house was being rehabbed and unoccupied. The fire was extinguished within 24 minutes of the incident. The alarm ultimately went to the box level, bringing in mutual aid companies from other agencies to cover the city.

An Evanston firefighter was treated and released from the hospital for heat exhaustion; no other injuries reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

For more additional information, please contact Division Chief Paul Polep at