6 injured in Loop high-rise fire, Chicago Fire Department says

Jessica D'Onofrio Image
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
6 injured in Loop high-rise fire, Chicago Fire Department says
Several people were forced to leave their home in the middle of the night because of a fire.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Six residents were injured in a fire Tuesday that broke out in a high-rise apartment building in the Loop, officials said.

According to the Chicago Fire Department, around 12:30 a.m. a fire was reported on the 32nd floor of an apartment building in the 400-block of East Randolph Street.

Fire officials said the fire was contained to a unit on the 32nd floor. Fire officials said the apartment had smoke detectors, but they were not working.

A 77-year-old man and a 70 year old woman who live there suffered serious injuries. Four other residents nearby were treated for smoke inhalation and are OK.

One pet died in the fire, officials said.

"I live on the 32nd floor," said one witness. "I just saw smoke coming through the door. Yelled out if anyone needed help. The firefighters were there, they came."

Firefighters were able to put out the blaze in about an hour without the building being evacuated.

"I was very scared, but I did not see a lot of people going down the stairwell and when I left, I realized there were more people outside and someone told me one of the floors said it's OK to stay in your place," said another resident.

Fire officials said detectors in the common hallways were working and alerted people.

"Middle of the night, we know it's fairly occupied, smoke conditions, alarms going off people panicking not knowing what's going on, so that's a concern for us," said CFD Deputy District Chief John Giordano.

Fire officials are advising residents in a high-rise fire not to evacuate unless you're told.

"We prefer people stay in their condos we don't want to evacuate a 30-story building if we don't have to," Chief Giordano said. "Only the floors that need to be evacuated."

Officials said the 40 story high-rise building has mostly residential units with some businesses and restaurants located on the ground floor.

Five firefighters got stuck in an elevator for 30 minutes after the blaze was out but they were able to escape with no injuries, officials said. Around 150 fire personnel and 11 ambulances responded to the incident.

Fire officials said the fire appears to be accidental and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.