CHICAGO (CBS) — Nine people were left without a place to live, for now, after an extra-alarm fire at an apartment building in Oak Park early Friday.
When firefighters arrived at the 3-story brick building on Washington Boulevard just east of Ridgeland Avenue, heavy smoke was coming from the basement, according to Oak Park Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Fadden.
There were also reports that people were trapped on the third floor.
Crews were sent into the building, and it was soon determined that everyone who had been in the building escaped on their own without being injured.
“We ended up going to a third level of our box alarm, mainly because of the cold and the ice; and to just give crews a break, and be able to make sure I could rotate them and kept them fresh,” Fadden said.
As crews were fighting the fire, a “mayday” signal went out after firefighters became disoriented on the second floor, but Fadden said that crew was soon found.
“That lasted about three minutes. They got a little disoriented. We quickly found them, and brought everything back to normal,” Fadden said.
No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire was under investigation, but Fadden said it appeared the blaze started in the basement, and spread through the walls to the first and second floors.
The building’s landlord was getting hotel rooms for at least nine people who live there until they can find other accommodations. Their apartments were destroyed in the blaze.