LOMBARD, Ill. (STMW) — Lightning is suspected of causing a Saturday morning fire that forced more than 50 seniors to leave a nursing home in west suburban Lombard.

Firefighters responded about 11:35 p.m. to a fire at the three-story Lexington Health Care at 2100 S. Finley Rd., Lombard Fire Battalion Chief Jeffrey Holst said.

The fire was primarily contained to the exterior of the building, but smoke forced at least 50 third-floor residents to leave the building while firefighters battled the blaze, Holst said.

“Hardly anybody” was able to get out by themselves, and responding firefighters and staff helped move people to a save location, Holst said. An employee at the facility said the residents were moved to a neighboring building.

“We had tremendous support from the staff,” he said.

The fire was extinguished in about 30 minutes and nobody was injured, Holst said. Damage to the living area was not extensive and nobody is expected to be displaced for a long period of time.

Lexington Health Care spokeswoman Doris Rex described the fire as small, but declined to give further details.

While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, lightning is strongly suspected, Holst said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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