Car catches fire in historic Lake Shore Drive high-rise

Residents evacuated a high-rise after smoke traveled up from a car fire in the basement garage. (WLS)
May 7, 2014 10:00:00 PM PDT
Residents self-evacuated a Lake Shore Drive high-rise after heavy smoke traveled from a car fire in the underground garage to the upper floors.

Chicago firefighters responded to a fire in the Mies van der Rohe building in the 900 block of North Lake Shore Drive around 3 a.m. Thursday. The building's sprinkler system helped crews put out the fire quickly.

Witnesses said the smoke reached as high as the 14th floor. A man who lives on the 3rd floor said he couldn't see midway up the walls to the ceiling of his apartment because of the smoke.

Fire officials instructed residents over the speaker system to stay inside their units. Most followed the order.

But the thick, black smoke caused about 25 residents to exit the building voluntarily. Residents said firemen directed them to the appropriate stairwell if they chose to evacuate the building.

"I was more concerned about the people on my floor who are older," 14th floor resident Chrissy Ward said. "We also have young kids up there."

Chicago Fire Department Chief Verdi Allen said a 2-year-old boy was transported to Lurie Children's Hospital for evaluation. No injuries were reported.

Firefighters used the building's ventilation system and fire department fans to clear out the smoke. Crews finished up at the scene around 4:30 a.m.

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