Woman hurt, dozens evacuated after fire at Tinley Park senior living center, officials say

ByEric Horng and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Woman hurt, dozens evacuated after suburban senior living center fire
Tinley Park village officials said a woman is hospitalized after a fire at an apartment in a senior home on South Harlem Avenue.

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- A woman has been taken to a hospital after a fire at a senior home in the south suburbs on Monday evening.

Village officials said a fire broke out in an apartment at a senior living facility on South Harlem Avenue near 168th Street.

The fire prompted a hefty response from multiple south suburban departments.

Firefighters raced into a unit to rescue a woman who had been burned. She was taken to Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox in an unknown condition.

"Our firefighters did an awesome job getting in there as quick as they did. They physically had to carry the lady out of the building into the ambulance that was waiting," said Tinley Park Fire Dept. Chief Steve Klotz.

The call for an alarm came around 5:15 p.m. from the Hanover Place senior community. Officials said the fire broke out in a first-floor apartment. Sprinklers helped to keep the fire to that unit.

As that injured resident was rushed to a hospital, more than 90 residents were evacuated from the 55-and-older building.

"I was like, 'Is this really, you know, real or is this...?'" said resident Debbie Drackley. "Then, some people was knocking on doors saying, 'You have to leave. You have to leave.'"

Firefighters helped residents with mobility issues and elevators were able to be used for the evacuation.

"Obviously, the smoke is a big condition that we have to make sure that that's cleared before we let anybody back in," Klotz said.

Officials said a second resident was also taken to a hospital for a medical reason unrelated to the fire. The cause of the fire is still undetermined, but it appears to have started in the living room.