Blue Island fire displaces dozens of residents

November 18, 2011 (BLUE ISLAND, Ill.)

All residents of the building at 121st and Vincennes were able to get out safely.

The flames shot out of the roof of the complex around 4:30 a.m. The raging fire only left one person with minor injuries. But two dozen families from the unit are without a place to stay. They are now getting help from the Red Cross.

Quinton Collier was at work when the blaze did its damage. He lost every personal belonging imaginable including clothing, pictures, and furniture.

"I'm kind at a loss for words. I am angry. I don't really know what's going to happen at this point," said Collier.

Jevon Applewhite is also getting help from the Red Cross and is thanking the landlord for helping residents by temporarily putting them up in other units in other buildings.

"My whole life was in that apartment," said Applewhite. "It's really a shock. Things like this happen, I guess, you know."

Blue Island fire officials say everyone got out on their own. As of now, they suspect the fire started while someone was cooking food on the second floor.

"It's a preliminary investigation. They have advised me that they feel that is due to unattended cooking at this time. Again, it's a preliminary investigation. They are continuing and they feel that that's what caused the fire to start and then spread into the attic," said Asst. Fire Chief Mark Luety, Blue Island Fire Department.

It took firefighters from more than a dozen area departments to put out the fire.

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