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Unattended Cooking Causes Extra-Alarm Blaze In Edgewater

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Edgewater Fire

Fire Chief Jack Petersen talks with news media at the scene of an extra-alarm fire Saturday in Chicago’s Edgewater neighborhood. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) Some unattended cooking in an apartment in the North Side Edgewater neighborhood Saturday afternoon resulted in an extra-alarm fire that ripped through the building, left a half-dozen people homeless and sent one firefighter to a hospital.   

A 2-11 alarm was called about 4:10 p.m. for the blaze at the four-story apartment building at 1241 and 1243 W. Granville Ave. The 2-11 alarm, which sends at least eight engines, four trucks and two tower ladders to the scene, was called to bring additional manpower and because there are other buildings close to the site of the fire, Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said.

Several ambulances also were summoned “as a precautionary measure, to rehab our own people,” Jack Petersen, 2nd District chief, told news crews on the scene. “We’re doing vital signs, we’re doing blood pressure (checks), making sure they’re hydrated. It’s sort of hot in these suits.”

One firefighter was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston because of exertion, Langford said.

It was believed to have been caused by some “unattended cooking,” Langford said. That cooking fire set the kitchen ablaze, which then spread to that apartment’s porch, jumped to the next porch, then “came back into the building and took out several apartments,” Langford said. 

No civilians were injured, but “a half-dozen adults” were left homeless by the blaze, he said.

What made the fire difficult to battle, Langford said, was that the apartment building was masonry construction, which keeps the heat in, leading to “very, very hot conditions.” With “heavy smoke and a lot of heat,” as well as humidity, fighting a fire in a brick apartment building like this one “just takes its toll” on firefighters, Langford said.  

The residents who were displaced were being taken care of by the city’s Department of Human Services and relatives.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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