Woman, 81, dies after Edgewater Beach high-rise fire

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Saturday, January 3, 2015
Woman, 81, injured in high rise fire
An 81-year-old woman has died following a fire at her high-rise apartment on Chicago's North Side.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An 81-year-old woman had died after a fire broke out in her high-rise apartment on Chicago's Far North Side.

Crews responded to reports of a blaze at a 34-story building in the 5300-block of North Sheridan Road around 8:45 a.m. Friday. The woman suffered burns over much of her body and was transported to Weiss Memorial Hospital in critical condition, then was transferred to the burn unit at Stroger Hospital.

The fire was reportedly contained to one unit on the 26th floor of The Breakers at Edgewater Beach, a senior independent living center. The building's sprinkler system quickly put out the flames.

"They had water flowing," said Deputy District Fire Chief John Shehan. "They found a victim in that apartment and was quickly removed. The sprinklers had activated and extinguished the fire."

Fire damage was limited to the victim's apartment. There was some water damage to apartments a floor below. Building residents were temporarily moved from their apartments but later allowed to return.

"The sprinklers contained the fire to its origin," Shehan said. "The first guys up there said yeah, this could've been very bad if it wasn't for the sprinkler system."

Investigators are looking into how the fire started, but officials said the cause was likely discarded smoking materials.

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