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updated: 6/7/2013 6:47 PM

Car fire spreads to Gurnee-area building

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A car fire extended into a building near Gurnee Friday morning and led to the rescue of someone who was inside, authorities said.

Firefighting crews from four area departments responded to the structure fire at 9:46 a.m. on the 32000 block of Route 21 in an unincorporated area near Gurnee, according to Battalion Chief Jim Pellitteri of the Gurnee Fire Department.

The car was parked close to the 3-story building when it caught fire. A person on the second floor attempted to escape through the front door, but the fire was blocking the entrance, Pellitteri said.

The man was able to climb onto a second-floor roof -- the 1920s-era building had one-story additions on both sides -- and firefighters were able to reach him with a ladder, Pellitteri said.

There were no injuries.

Investigators are still probing the cause of the car fire, but it's possible the gas line may have been damaged in a rear-end accident the day before, Pellitteri said.

The car was totaled, while the building sustained some interior and exterior damage. A small bookstore and honey harvesting area in the building were not damaged.

"We saved the structure, and they could probably do some repairs," Pellitteri said. "They red-tagged the building until it's fixed."

Pellitteri said there are normally no residents who live in the building, but the man who was rescued was staying there temporarily while taking classes across the street at the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox School of Theology.

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