Oak Park fire prompts mayday call, displaces 9

OAK PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- An apartment fire in west suburban Oak Park led to a close call for firefighters early Friday morning.

While firefighters were inside three-story building in the 300-block of Washington Boulevard, one of the crews made a mayday call. Oak Park Fire Department Battalion Chief Kevin Fadden said the crew got disoriented, but they are OK.

"We did have one mayday call. One of our crews got disoriented. That lasted only about three minutes. They were found and taken care of. As far as we know there were no injuries, no fatalities," Fadden said.

The flames ripped through the six-unit apartment building around 1:15 a.m. More than 70 firefighters were called in from a dozen neighboring departments.

When firefighters arrived, they found heavy black smoke in the basement and a report that people were possibly trapped on the third floor.

"I couldn't fall back asleep. The noise. I ran outside. I just came out to make sure the neighbors were OK," said Brian, who lives nearby.

All six units were occupied. Everyone made it out safely before the fire department got to the scene. No one was hurt.
The fire was brought under control within two hours. Officials said the apartments were destroyed. The basement and the first floor have heavy fire damage. The second and third floors have extensive smoke and water damage. The management company relocated all nine residents to a hotel.

Fire officials believe the fire started in the basement where the utilities are located, but the cause is still under investigation. They said they wont' have the answer until sometime on Saturday.
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