At least one person was killed in a northwest suburb of Chicago after a devastating tornado touched down Thursday evening with damage reported in several counties.
The small town of Fairdale, located in DeKalb County, was leveled by the tornado with fire officials confirming at least one person was killed. “The whole town was gone,” said Daniel Prothero, who arrived at the scene shortly after the storm. “It was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen in my life. It was heartbreaking.” Rockford Fire Department division chief Matthew Knott said seven people in various stages of injuries were transported to local hospitals, but he expected that number would change throughout the night as crews continued to search the area. “This town is absolutely devastated by the tornado,” Knott said, noting roughly every structure in the town was damaged by the system. Crews were still working to determine the extent of the damage and were searching for survivors as of 10:30 p.m. Thursday.
Friday, 10 April, 2015 at 04:39 (04:39 AM) UTC RSOE
One resident of a tornado-damaged town in northern Illinois says he ignored an early warning on his cellphone about the impending twister. Sixty-year-old machinist Al Zammuto of Fairdale tells The Associated Press he has received similar warnings before but they have never amounted to anything. Moments after the message arrived, his windows exploded and he took cover. He says he couldn’t believe his eyes when he stepped outside. He says the town looked “like a landfill” and that people were in total shock. Authorities in the tiny community roughly 80 miles northwest of Chicago say one woman died and about 11 others were injured when at least one tornado touched down Thursday evening.
Friday, 10 April, 2015 at 16:57 UTC RSOE
Developing: Rochelle and Fairdale, IL tornado rated as an EF4 per NWS Chicago. More info coming soon.
— Donald Blondell (@OKCStormWatcher) April 10, 2015