1 dead in apartment building fire in Rolling Meadows
One person died after a fire that began Wednesday night in a multi-unit apartment building in Rolling Meadows, fire officials say.
The fire at a building on the 5200 block of Carriageway Drive, in a complex abutting Algonquin Road, was upgraded to a third alarm shortly after 9:30 p.m., bringing in additional engines and manpower. Firefighters continued to struggle with the blaze for hours.
Rolling Meadows fire Chief Scott Franzgrote said the victim jumped from a third-floor balcony but later died at the hospital.
Franzgrote said the fire began in a unit on the third floor of the three-story, wood-frame building, got into the attic and spread down the hallway. About 20 fire departments responded to the scene.
Residents in an apartment building across the street from the fire said they felt their building rattle shortly after 8 p.m. Not long after, flames were visible from the building across the street.
"It keeps flaring up," said Christa Suchowski of Palatine, who stopped to videotape the firefighting efforts. "They'll dump a whole bunch of water on it, there'll be smoke, and then it'll flare up again."
Suchowski said she used to live nearby and decided to drive by when she heard about the fire. She said firefighters were attacking the blaze from multiple sides of the building using ladder trucks and aerial hoses.
"You can see through a balcony door through the roof. The roof is entirely gone (in some areas)," she said.
Some of the departments at the scene were those from Rolling Meadows, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village and Schaumburg. Fire officials from neighboring departments said there have been injuries at the scene.