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High-Rise Fire Extinguished In Streeterville

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Flames and smoke pour out of a 7th floor window of a 27-story high-rise in Streeterville on Feb. 1, 2013. (Photo courtesy Stephanie Eltawil)

Flames and smoke pour out of a 7th floor window of a 27-story high-rise in Streeterville on Feb. 1, 2013. (Photo courtesy Stephanie Eltawil)

Updated 02/01/13 – 5:15 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Firefighters quickly extinguished a fire at a high-rise condo building in the Streeterville neighborhood late Friday morning.

The fire was on the 7th floor of a 27-story, 144-unit high-rise at 230 E. Ontario St., according to the Fire Department. A 2-11 alarm was called for the fire, bringing approximately 160 firefighters to the scene.

Flames and dark smoke were visible coming from a 7th floor window.

The fire started around 11:15 a.m., and was put out shortly before noon.

“There was smoke all over the hallways, all through the stairways. I had to go back to into my unit, and I was trapped there,” resident Marta Cerda tells CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez, who is her relative.

Cerda says she talked to the tenant of the unit where the fire started.

“He told me and went into the bathroom and he came back, and the curtains were on fire,” she says.

Stephanie Eltawil, who was across the street from the fire at a Starbucks, said it appeared firefighters were able to quickly bring the fire under control.

“There’s a lot less smoke billowing out into the street, so I think they got it,” she said. “They had about six fire trucks down there, so I think they have it about under control now.”

Two doors down from the unit where the fire broke out, a man could be seen in his window, talking on the phone.

Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said that man did the right thing by staying in his own condo, until told to evacuate by the Fire Department.

“We always say shelter in place when you have these fires. We don’t want you to go out till we get hold of you and let you know which way to go,” he said. “You can actually walk into harm’s way.”

Santiago said, as firefighters were coming in, the woman whose condo was burning was leaving the building. The fire was contained to that single unit.

One person was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to be checked out as a precaution. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

The building’s garage was being used as a warming area for residents who had been evacuated from their condos during the fire.