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More Than 100 Displaced By Prospect Heights Apartment Fire


FLAMES BREAKOUT BURNING HOME AFTER HOME. GOOD EVENING I’M ROB JOHNSON. IT’S BEEN A LONG DAY FOR FIREFIGHTERS AND RESIDENTS OF THE COMPLEX WAITING TO SEE THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE. WE HAVE TEAM COVERAGE STARTING WITH CHARLIE DEMAR WHO IS AT THE SCENE. Reporter: GOOD EVENING. THIS FIRE CONTINUES TO BURN WELL OVER EIGHT HOURS SINCE IT STARTED THIS AFTERNOON. FIREFIGHTERS ARE STILL DUMPING WATER ON THIS FIRE. ONCE IT IS EVENTUALLY OUT THE INVESTIGATION WILL BEGIN. THE FIRE DEPARTMENT HERE IN PROSPECT HEIGHTS IS LOOKING INTO CLAIMS THAT A YOUNG BOY, HOME ALONE WAS PLAYING WITH FIRE. I BEEN STANDING HERE WATCHING MY HOUSE BURN DOWN. Reporter: MONACO ALVAREZ FORCED TO WATCH HER CONDOMINIUM BURN BEFORE HER EYES. I NEVER THOUGHT THIS WOULD HAPPEN TO US. Reporter: YOU CAN SEE SMOKE AND FLAMES RIPPED THROUGH THE COMPLEX THE FIRE SPREADING AND DESTROYING THREE OF THE FOUR ADJOINING BUILDINGS, EACH THREE STORIES HIGH. IT WAS SET BY MY HOUSE. MY PETS DID NOT GET OUT. Reporter: 150 FIREFIGHTERS FROM 50 DEPARTMENTS WERE CALLED TO CONTAIN THE FIRE THAT STARTED AROUND 1:30 PM AND CONTINUED WELL INTO THE NIGHT. THE BUILDING IS A CONSTRUCTION CHALLENGE. IT’S A DUPLEX DESIGN IT’S STRUCTURALLY SOUND EXCEPT WHEN THERE IS A FIRE, IT HAS NO FIRE RESISTANCE. Reporter: THE CAUSE IS UNKNOWN BUT THE FIRE CHIEF SAID THEY ARE LOOKING INTO CLAIMS OF A YOUNG BOY HOME ALONE, PLAYING WITH MATCHES OR A LIGHTER. I FOR THOSE REPORTS. WE WILL SUBSTANTIATE OR REFUTE THAT WHEN WE INVESTIGATE. WILL POP THE FIRE DEPARTMENT IS TRYING TO INFORM US THERE ARE NO SPRINKLES — SPRINKLERS CREATING ANOTHER CHALLENGE. TWO RESIDENCE ALONG WITH THE FIREFIGHTER WERE TREATED FOR MINOR INJURIES AND THEY ARE EXPECTED TO BE OKAY. FIREFIGHTERS WILL BE HERE THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT DUMPING WATER ON THIS TO GET A BETTER HANDLE ON THIS FIRE. IT HAS DISPLACED SO MANY PEOPLE. DANA KOZLOV JOINS US FROM ARLINGTON HEIGHTS. Reporter: WE ARE JUST A COUPLE MILES WEST OF YOU AT LAKEWOOD CHAPEL WHICH IS SET UP AS A RED CROSS SHELTER, FOR SOME VICTIMS THEY CAN SLEEP AND EAT, POTENTIALLY 100 FAMILIES OR MORE HAVE BEEN IMPACTED BY THIS FIRE. THEY CAN COME HERE AND OTHER SHELTERS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO DO NEXT. IT’S BEEN HOURS SINCE MARGARET FOURNIER CAME HOME FROM WORK TO FIND HER BUILDING AND FLAMES. SHE SPENT THOSE HOURS COMING TO TERMS WITH WHAT SHE’S LOST. I REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO. Reporter: HUNDREDS WITH NOWHERE TO GO SPENT THE EVENING SITTING AND WATCHING FIREFIGHTERS BATTLE OF FIVE ALARM BLAZE. MANY WONDERING — WE LEFT OUR CAT AND WE ARE NOT SURE IF SHE’S GOING TO BE THERE. Reporter: MANY IN DISBELIEF LIKE ASHLEY APPLEBY THE FAMILY JUST MOVED IN. WE LOST EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING POSSIBLE FOR US. Reporter: EVEN MORE TERRIFYING — MY SON WAS HOME ALONE. ME AND MY HUSBAND WERE AT WORK. HE JUMPED OFF THE BALCONY. Reporter: WHERE DID THE FIRE START IN RELATION TO YOUR APARTMENT? IT WAS YOUR APARTMENT? YES, I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. THEY HAVEN’T TOLD ME. WE KNOW IT STARTED IN MY APARTMENT. Reporter: AS CHARLIE REPORTS THE FIRE DEPARTMENT IS STILL INVESTIGATING THE ORIGIN AND THE CAUSE OF THAT PLACE. THAT IS STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION. THE FIRE CHIEF SAID EARLIER, THEY WANT TO SAVE LIVES AND STRUCTURES FIRST BUT THEY WANT TO SAVE PEOPLE’S BELONGINGS AND HE IS SAID HE COULD NOT DO THAT IN THE CASE OF 96 CONDOS DAMAGED BY THIS PLACE. DANA KOZLOV CBS 2 NEWS. THAT’S AMAZING YOU ARE TALKING TO THE WOMAN WHO HAD THE FIRE STARTED IN HER APARTMENT. THAT HAD TO BE DIFFICULT.

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