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Article updated: 11/5/2012 1:25 PM

West Chicago apartment fire leaves residents homeless

By Eric Peterson

Fire swept through a 24-unit West Chicago apartment building Sunday, leaving its residents temporarily homeless and without their belongings, but injuring none.

West Chicago firefighters were called to the Timber Lake Apartments at 1212 Kings Circle about 10:06 a.m. in response to the fire, which broke out in one of several buildings that make up the complex.

A large crowd of residents from all the buildings in the complex watched firefighters from West Chicago and many surrounding departments battle the blaze which seemed to be based around the top floor and roof.

The fire was largely extinguished by 12:20 p.m., but many of the responding departments were not released from the scene until just after 2 p.m.

Glenn Mueller, president of property owner Northridge Holdings, said all residents of the buildings and their pets were able to escape the fire unharmed.

A 3-month-old girl who was asleep when she was taken out of the building later woke up smiling, he said.

The company was making arrangements for hotel rooms for the residents to stay in Sunday night. If they need housing beyond then, Mueller said the company will make available units in other buildings of the complex or other apartment complexes it owns in Addison and Bartlett.

Efforts to secure clothing and furniture donations are already under way for residents, most of whom do not have renter's insurance, Mueller added.

He had high praise for the responsiveness of the fire department and other city officials, including acting Mayor Ruben Pineda and Police Chief Laz Perez who came to the scene immediately on what should have been their days off.

"The community is great with helping people," Mueller said. "I couldn't ask for anything more."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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