Firefighters survey damage as Schaumburg apartment blaze investigation continues
Schaumburg firefighters were back at the scene Sunday of an apartment building gutted by a fire that injured seven and displaced about a dozen residents early Saturday.
Several fire vehicles lined the street near the Remington Place Apartments while firefighters surveyed the damage at the 12-unit building in the 100 block of Salado Court.
Fire Capt. John Schneidwind said firefighters were taking advantage of a training opportunity, preparing for responses to potential similar occurrences in the future.
"We are talking about what we would do if it happened on our shift," he said.
Overlooking a soggy grassy area cordoned off with yellow tape, the three-story building showed the aftereffects of the blaze, which injured six residents -- two seriously -- and a Schaumburg firefighter.
Windows were boarded up and the edges of balconies were singed, while the odor of smoke lingered in the air. Debris littered the ground.
Firefighters called to the blaze at 1:28 a.m. Saturday arrived to find flames and smoke coming from the first floor and two people trapped on the third floor. Both leapt from the building to escape the flames and were hospitalized in serious condition.
The cause of the fire remained under investigation Sunday by both the police and fire departments.
Residents of the apartment complex said Sunday they heard an explosion before the fire.
Lou Ciesla, who moved into a neighboring building more than a month ago, said he didn't know about the fire until he tried to leave the complex Saturday morning and found the street jammed with fire trucks.
"It stunned me that something like this would happen. And I didn't know the severity of it until I came back that morning around (8 a.m.)," he said.
The apartment building was declared uninhabitable. Displaced residents received immediate shelter in the Remington Place clubhouse pending the arrival of the Red Cross for further assistance.
Apartment management was unavailable for further comment.
A Schaumburg firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion after battling the blaze and has since been released from Amita St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates, as was a resident treated for smoke inhalation.
Three other residents were treated by paramedics on scene.