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Collapse Of Elgin Apartment Ceiling Injures 2, Forces Out 21

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ELGIN, Ill. (STMW) – Fire officials suspect that faulty roofing-construction work caused a ceiling collapse that injured two people and made 21 temporarily homeless at the Blackhawk Apartments over the weekend, the Courier-News reports.

Battalion Chief Bryan McMahan of the Elgin Fire Department said 911 was called at 12:16 a.m. Saturday by a woman who said her apartment’s ceiling had caved in on her while she and a child were sleeping on their living-room couch. The collapse had occurred in one apartment on the third (top) floor of the apartment building at 925 Carriage Way, authorities said.

“When the first firefighters arrived, they knew something serious had happened because pink insulation had been pushed out from underneath the apartment’s front door,” McMahan said. “To get to the family, they had to force their way in because drywall that had fallen off the ceiling had lodged against the inside of the door.”

The woman and child sustained injuries not life-threatening and were reported in fair condition when they were taken to Sherman Hospital in Elgin, the battalion chief said.

When firefighters began looking inside the other seven apartments on that floor, they discovered that nailheads had popped out and drywall was sagging in several of their ceilings, raising concern that their ceilings also might cave in. So the residents of all eight apartments, totaling 21 people, were ordered out of their homes.

McMahan said two of the displaced people received fire department vouchers to stay in a West Dundee motel while the others found temporary homes with relatives or friends.

The building has been undergoing a total roofing replacement and that that is suspected of having caused the collapse, McMahan said. He said Blackhawk’s property management company called a contractor to the site on Saturday and started immediately to work on repairs.

Fire officials estimated the damage at $7,500.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)