2 dead after Vernon Hills apartment fire ID'd, coroner says

ByMaher Kawash and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, March 20, 2023
Vernon Hills apartment fire leaves 2 dead, police say
Two people were killed in a Vernon Hills fire at an apartment building in the 900 block of S. Court of Shorewood, the police department said.

VERNON HILLS, Ill. (WLS) -- Two people died in a fire at a Vernon Hills apartment building early Sunday morning.

The Lake County Coroner's Office identified the victims as 33-year-old Camille Lozano and 39-year-old Polly Jensen. Both victims died from injuries and smoke inhalation from the fire.

Loved ones were too shaken up to speak with ABC7 when crews arrived at the building hours after firefighters first got the call for help.

"I see in my windows, all the lights, and I see a lot of people yelling and running. It was crazy," said Juan Hernandez, who lives in a complex nearby.

Hernandez said he saw eight to 12 fire trucks as flames tore through a three-story building in the 900 block of S. Court of Shorewood at 3:15 a.m.

The damage from the fire extended through each floor. As fire crews searched the building, they said they found the body of one victim, and rushed another victim to Advocate Condell Medical Center, where they later died. Police said the their identities are not yet known.

Neighbors took in the scene, shocked to hear about the loss of two lives. The victims' names have not yet been released.

"I've never seen anything like this before. Never," Hernandez said. "I feel sad, because sometimes, when you sleep, you never know if the next day you'll be alive or not."

Fire officials said the building is uninhabitable and Red Cross is currently working to give other residents temporary shelter.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, and is being investigated by the Countryside Fire Protection District, Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Vernon Hills Police Department.

Jensen's family started a GoFundMe for her daughters.

The video in the player above is from a previous report.