Fire engulfs motel near O’Hare Airport as crews struggle with frozen hydrants

A motel fire left one person injured early Monday near O’Hare International Airport, as firefighters struggled with frozen hydrants and a partial building collapse.

Firefighters responded to an alarm at 1:30 a.m. at the O’Hare Kitchentte Motel, at 2301 Mannheim Road, according to Leyden Township Fire Protection District Chief Cory Ryan

Crews were there within a minute, being stationed a block away, and found a person on the second floor, where the fire started, Ryan said. The person was taken to a hospital with burns that weren’t life-threatening.

The fire engulfed the building and half of the motel’s second story collapsed, Ryan said.

Firefighters initially brought fire hoses inside the building, but their two accessible hydrants froze shut, Ryan said. Crews quickly depleted the water in their engines and went on the defensive. Firefighters used torches to thaw the hydrants.


Eighteen families displaced by the fire will be housed free of charge by another motel for a week.

"Kudos to the Super 8 down the street," Ryan said, noting that the families lost almost all of their belongings.

The motel had working smoke detectors, and there were no other injuries.

At least 12 departments helped douse the fire, Ryan said. There were also two warming buses.

The state’s fire marshal is assisting in an investigation into the fire’s cause.