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Article updated: 1/20/2013 4:21 PM

Three hospitalized in Des Plaines fire

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Three people were hospitalized after an apartment fire in Des Plaines on Friday night, officials said.

Des Plaines firefighters responding to a call at 10:24 p.m. found a working fire in the basement of an apartment in the 100 block of East Northwest Highway, said Fire Chief Alan Wax.

Mount Prospect and Niles fire departments assisted with the fire, which was extinguished within 20 minutes, Wax said.

Officials said combustible materials were leaning up against a furnace, which caught fire. Flames spread in the basement and up the walls of the structure. Smoke spread throughout the involved unit and two adjacent units.

Three residents were transported to a hospital for smoke inhalation, but were expected to recover, Wax said.

"We are glad that the family involved in this incident will be OK," Wax said. "We wish to take advantage of the opportunity to provide some safety lessons to the public: specifically, keep a space of at least three feet around furnaces, water heaters, portable heaters, and other sources of heat. Also, if you see a fire, call 911 immediately -- do not delay the 911 call to try to fight the fire yourself."

Officials estimate damages from the fire at $90,000.

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