Grand Bear Resort Fire Reported In Northern Illinois

Grand Bear Resort Fire Reported In Northern Illinois
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The extremely low temperatures in northern Illinois complicated firefighters’ fight in the Grand Bear Resort fire. Ambient air temperatures in the Chicago area are below zero today with wind chills in the -20 to -30-degree range, according to meteorologists. According to local media outlets, firefighters pumped water from a pair of tankers parked in the front of the building to help with the effort in extinguishing the blaze in the back of the building. The Grand Bear Resort Fire stretched firefighting resources so thin in northern Illinois that when another structure fire was reported in Leonore, Illinois, more mutual aid was needed because Leonore’s water tanker was already in use at the resort.

The Grand Bear Resort fire was still ongoing by 7:25 a.m., so fire officials updated the blaze from a four-alarm to a five-alarm fire, according to the News Tribune. Fire departments came from as far away as 30 to 40 miles away to help battle the blaze at the popular northern Illinois resort, the newspaper added.

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Video footage from the scene of the Grand Bear Resort fire shared by Chicago-area TV stations showed a massive plume of white smoke floating up from the building. Officials with the LaSalle County Sheriff’s Department told local media that the blaze started in the main lodge and the attached pool.

Guests at the northern Illinois resort were evacuated and sent to their cars to keep warm. Ambient air temperatures in the Chicago area are below zero today with wind chills in the -20 to -30-degree range, according to area meteorologists.

The Grand Bear Resort fire broke out at around 5:30 a.m. local time on Tuesday. Local media are reporting that four fire departments responded to the blaze at the northern Illinois resort. Utica fire chief Ben Brown told local media that passersby called in a massive fire with flames shooting up from the lodge’s western side. He described the blaze as “a large fire in the water park” area of the resort; the water park is attached to the lodge’s southwestern corner.


A four-alarm fire at a northern Illinois resort caused a rude awakening for lodgers at the resort. Photos and videos from the Grand Bear Resort fire show massive plumes of smoke rising from the lodge part of the resort. At this time, fire officials do not have any information on how many people were injured in the fire, if any.

At least four fire departments responded to the Grand Bear Resort fire early this morning. Local media outlets are reporting that some guests staying in the resort have been relocated. Grizzly Jack’s Grand Bear Resort is located in Utica, Illinois.

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Michelle Jones is editor-in-chief for and has been with the site since 2012. Previously, she was a television news producer for eight years. She produced the morning news programs for the NBC affiliates in Evansville, Indiana and Huntsville, Alabama and spent a short time at the CBS affiliate in Huntsville. She has experience as a writer and public relations expert for a wide variety of businesses. Email her at
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