“More than 60 firefighters from nine towns battled an extra-alarm blaze in west suburban Oak Park that spread from an unoccupied home to a large apartment building.Â
The fire broke out in a two-story house located at 541 North Humphrey Avenue just before 4:30 a.m. Wednesday. Oak Park Fire Chief Tom Ebsen said the unoccupied home was under renovation at the time. When firefighters arrived at the scene, the house was fully engulfed. Â Oak Park police went door-to-door to evacuate neighbors from their homes. A visibly shaken Abby Nickel said she woke up because she heard glass breaking. She and her parents live next door.
“Next thing we know, there’s a knock knock on the door and it’s the Oak Park Police Department,” Nickel said. “That’s when my dad saw the flames. We got out right when it hit. It was really scary.”
Fire officials upgraded the blaze to a 3-11 after flames spread to the roof of the three-story structure next door, at 545 North Humphrey Avenue. Ebsen said it was difficult to get at the fire in the apartment building because of the clay tile roof.
“I grabbed my daughter, her blanket, my phone and my iPad to call my husband and let him know that we were OK. But my cat’s in there, my keys, my wallet, everything. Everything might be gone,” said Brittany Sanchez, an apartment building resident.
Fire crews from North Riverside, Cicero, Berwyn, Stickney, Maywood, Melrose Park and Elmwood Park assisted in the Oak Park Fire Department’s response.
The house fire was under control by around 5:45 a.m. Ebsen said that building was a total loss. The fire in the apartment building was under control by around 6:25 a.m. About 30-60 residents were displaced.
No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”