Two killed in early morning Vernon Hills apartment fire

Two people were killed early Sunday after fire broke out in a Vernon Hills apartment building, authorities said.

Vernon Hills police and Countryside Fire Protection District firefighters responded to the scene in the 900 block of South Court of Shorewood at about 3:15 a.m. They arrived to find heavy fire conditions at the building, officials said.

As crews were responding, authorities received a 911 call reporting that residents were possibly trapped inside the apartments.

Firefighters searching the building while working to extinguish the blaze located two victims, police said. One adult victim was found deceased, and another adult victim was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, where the person later died, according to police.

The identities of the victims were not immediately known, authorities said.

The fire was extinguished, but the building was left uninhabitable, officials said. The Red Cross is working to provide assistance to displaced occupants.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Countryside Fire Protection District, Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Vernon Hills Police Department.

Red Cross and fire officials were on the scene late Sunday morning, as was an official from Kildeer Countryside Elementary District 96. Police blocked off the area, letting residents and neighbors through yellow crime scene tape.

Among those returning to the scene was Julissa Perez, a resident of the building who was awakened by a neighbor after the fire started.

"She was banging on the door and she was telling me to grab my kids and to get out," Perez said. "I opened the door and I literally could see the fire right in front of me. It was, like, big flames."

"I left everything. I left my phone. I left my keys," she added.

  Yellow police tape surrounds a Vernon Hills apartment building where fire broke out early Sunday morning, killing two people. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Steve Zalusky/
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