WOODSTOCK (CBS) — More than two dozen families are looking for new homes after a huge apartment complex fire.
CBS 2’s Sandra Torres reports.READ MORE: 3 Men Injured In River North Parking Garage Shooting
The massive blaze started after 3 a.m. Saturday morning at a building in the 2100 block of Willow Brooke Drive in northwest suburban Woodstock.
Crews from 15 different fire departments responded and rescued people from their balconies. Authorities transported one woman to a local hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. She was later released.
The Woodstock Fire District chief believed the fire started in a second story balcony and spread to the roof, causing smoke alarms to not alert residents right away. One witness told WBBM they heard a loud explosion before the fire.
James Palubski lives in one of the 32 units damaged in the blaze. He was asleep during the beginning of the fire, and did not realize the flames were heading his way.
“A cop was knocking on door saying there was a fire, so I got up, got my girlfriend, ran outside,” he said.READ MORE: MISSING: Kyrin Carter, 12, Has Autism, Last Seen In Hammond, Indiana
A neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said his called the cops to wake Palubski up. He said his dog woke him up.
“She usually never wakes us up to go to bathroom in middle of the night,” he said.
The neighbor also said he saw the flames and started ringing residents’ doorbells since the alarms did not go off.
The Woodstock Fire and Rescue district said the 32 damaged units are now uninhabitable. 50 people in total are displaced. The Red Cross is assisting them and local merchants sent food to the fire scene. Residents also received vouchers to stay at local hotels.
“We will continue to watch over these individuals to make sure that they have assistance they need,” said Woodstock Mayor Brian Sager.MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Warming Trend Continues, Rain Chances Persist
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.