Officials: Fire displaces 16; building had no working smoke alarms

 
 
Updated 1/19/2015 9:58 PM

At least 16 residents of a Cary apartment building are without a home after a fire on Saturday morning, but officials say they are lucky everyone got out unharmed.

Cary Fire Protection District officials responded to a structure fire at 342 Crystal St. at 1:47 a.m. on Saturday and began evacuating tenants from the six-unit apartment building, according to a news release.

 

The first firefighters on the scene found the first and second floors of the three-level complex on fire but found heavy fire coming from one apartment on the first floor.

"None of the tenants reported hearing any smoke detectors alarming," the release said. "Firefighters located several smoke detectors in the building, but they never alarmed due to having dead or no batteries."

Officials said most of the tenants were alerted by someone yelling "fire" and pounding on apartment doors.

"This fire could have had a very tragic ending, but luckily it did not," the release said.

Sixteen tenants were evacuated safely from the five occupied apartments at the time of the fire, officials said. Three people were evaluated for smoke inhalation on the scene. No firefighters were injured.

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The cause of the fire was still under investigation on Monday night but does not appear to be suspicious.

The fire left the building uninhabitable though the American Red Cross was on the scene to assist the displaced tenants.

The fire was under control within an hour, the release said. Departments including Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Barrington-Countryside, Crystal Lake, Fox River Grove, Lakewood, Lake Zurich, McHenry and Wauconda helped Cary officials fight the fire.

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