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Apartment fire in unincorporated DuPage County displaces dozens of families

Published: Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013 1:18 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:58 p.m. CDT
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(Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com)
Firefighters leave Willow Lakes Apartment Complex, the site of a fire early Saturday morning that left the three-story, 24-unit complex uninhabitable.
Caption
A fire at Willow Lakes Apartment Complex, 21W547 North Ave., has left the building uninhabitable.

GLEN ELLYN – A fire early Saturday morning in unincorporated DuPage County near Lombard has left a three-story, 24-unit apartment complex uninhabitable, according to an official with the Glen Ellyn Volunteer Fire Department.

Lt. Craig Eldridge said the department received an alarm for a structure fire at 1:52 a.m. at the Willow Lakes Apartment Complex, 21W547 North Ave., which falls within the Glen Ellyn Fire Protection District.

Eldridge said the first units responded within three or four minutes, saw fire showing through the roof and called for more units.

All of the residents were evacuated by the time the fire department arrived and no one was hurt, he said. The American Red Cross was on the scene to help families find temporary shelter.

Eldridge said 14 other fire departments responded to the incident and the fire was contained within a half hour. But, the firefighters' efforts were hampered by low water pressure and it took them a couple of hours to put the fire out.

"It was a very difficult fire to fight," he said.

Eldridge said the complex is made up of a north and south building, separated by a fire wall.

He said the fire appeared to have started in the north building, which suffered a collapsed roof and heavy smoke damage.

The south building only suffered water damage but is currently uninhabitable because all of the utilities have been shut off, he said.

Eldridge said the DuPage County Investigation Task Force is currently investigating the cause of the fire.

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