Naperville extinguishes 7-story garbage chute fire

The entire height of a garbage chute in a seven-story apartment building caught fire Saturday morning, requiring a large response from Naperville and neighboring fire departments, authorities said.

When Naperville firefighters arrived at 7:10 a.m. to one of two high-rise buildings in The Views of Naperville apartment complex on the 700 block of Royal St. George Drive, they initially found a fire in the basement trash room and put it out, Deputy Chief Andy Dina said.

But firefighters could still hear a fire burning, even though they couldn't see it, Dina said. And 911 callers who reached out beginning at 7:05 a.m. had told them there was smoke in the sixth-floor hallway as well.

So crews opened up a concealed space between the garbage chute and the wall and found flames there.

"Further investigation revealed that the fire was burning all the way up through the seventh floor and through the roof," Dina said. "So we had fire all the way up from the basement through the roof. We needed a lot of help."

The 24 Naperville firefighters who initially responded to the call upgraded the alarm twice, bringing at least six more fire engines and two more ambulances to the scene as they evacuated residents from all seven floors of the affected high-rise.

A total of 59 responders from 12 agencies attacked the fire on all levels and extinguished it by about 9:30 a.m., Dina said.

No residents or firefighters were injured. Evacuated residents sheltered inside the complex's on-site community center while firefighters were working, with the help of building maintenance and management, Dina said.

Residents were returning to their units before 10 a.m. Saturday, and Dina said no one was displaced as a result of the fire.

The garbage chute, however, is out of service as fire investigators begin their probe into the cause of the blaze.

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