Authorities investigate cause of fire near Antioch that displaced 15 people and killed six pets

Crews from more than a dozen departments fought blaze for about 3 hours; no injuries reported

Authorities are investigating a fire Wednesday in an apartment building near Antioch that displaced 15 people and killed six pets.

Antioch firefighters responding to a structure fire about 3:09 p.m. at 24220 W. North Ave., found heavy smoke and flames showing from the east and south sides of the building and victims trapped on the second floor.

Due to the extent of the fire and the need for water, crews from a dozen departments in Illinois as well as five from southern Wisconsin assisted.

Firefighters worked about three hours to extinguish the flames and overhaul the scene to put out hidden fires, the Antioch Fire Department reported.

A search was done and no victims were found, according the the department.

One person was evaluated and signed a medical release. No fire personnel were injured.

According to the department 15 people were displaced, six pets were rescued and six perished in the fire, although the types of pets were not given. There were four apartments in the home — two upstairs and two downstairs.

Authorities said the building was uninhabitable, but its value or a damage estimate wasn't available. The cause of the fire is being investigated. Occupants were referred to the Red Cross for assistance.

The building on the northwest corner of North Avenue and North Trevor Road is in an unincorporated area just north of Antioch village limits.

According to information provided by the Lakes Region Historical Society, William Musch, a German immigrant and successful businessman in Chicago, who moved to Antioch in 1918, acquired a large tract of land on Sylvan Beach Road (now North Avenue), named for the Sylvan Beach Hotel. He built the large home for his family of six daughters and one son.

The intent was to convert the home to a summer resort but that didn't happen. Edna West, who had been running a home for disabled children in Highland Park, bought the property in 1939 to open a larger school. The school was moved in late 1947 and the home has been an apartment for most of the time since.

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