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updated: 4/15/2013 11:11 PM

Palatine firefighters rescue girl from blaze

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Palatine firefighters responding to a fire Monday evening rescued a girl trapped in an apartment bathroom.

Firefighters were called to the blaze shortly after 5 p.m. on the 400 block of West Palatine Road in a second-floor apartment.

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Heavy heat and smoke greeted firefighters, as well as witnesses who alerted them to a child trapped in the apartment.

Firefighters split into two groups -- one fighting the blaze and one search-and-rescue team. They found a conscious 13-year-old girl behind a closed door in the apartment's bathroom.

She was carried from the building and taken immediately to Northwest Community Hospital, fire officials said, with nonlife-threatening issues. Her condition was unavailable Monday night. Her younger sibling was able to escape the apartment and notify neighbors that she may be trapped.

The fire was brought under control within 20 minutes and contained to the single apartment.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

"We're trying to track down the rest of the family," said Palatine Battalion Chief Jim Conn. "That's what the investigators are doing to piece it all together."

Fire officials estimate about $75,000 in damage to the apartment, and they credit smoke detectors to alerting neighbors to call for help and enough time to get out safely.

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