Streeterville high-rise fire contained to 1 unit, CFD says

Friday, February 01, 2013

One person was injured during a fire at a Streeterville high-rise building in Chicago on Friday morning.

The fire was contained to one unit on the seventh floor of the building at 230 East Ontario, Chicago Fire Department officials said. That floor was evacuated due to heavy smoke. The transported person was having trouble breathing, officials said. She suffered minor injuries, official said.

The fire broke out around 11 a.m. More than 160 firefighters were called to the scene. They say the building has self-closures that helped keep the smoke and fire from spreading.

"I heard sounds I smelled smoke I called downstairs and heard there was a fire in the building," Marta Cerda, resident, said. "My unit was completely filled with smoke. I was using wet towels to cover my face and was planning to move into the bathroom to escape the smoke."

Jetmir Purballari works at the Ivy Hotel across the street from the burning building. His cell phone video shows flames and heavy black smoke coming out the seventh floor.

Firefighters went floor-by-floor through the 27-story building, which has 144 units.

"As they entered the apartment, the windows failed. That's how the fire got out. You can see it come out the windows, but they had a quick knock-down attack to it," Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said.

Officials say the high-rise had working smoke detectors and is up to code.

"There is a communication system in this building. This building has all of the life safety recommendations we recommend for all of the high-rises built prior to 1975," Santiago said.

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