By Jean Lotus
Firefighters battled a three-alarm fire that spread from a two-story vacant house to an adjacent Oak Park apartment building on the 500 block of North Humphrey Avenue, Wednesday morning.
The fire started around 4:30 a.m. at 541 N. Humphrey. The building was unoccupied and was being renovated, said Village President Anan Abu-Taleb, who was on the scene. Flames jumped to the tile roof of the apartment building and burned through.
Sixty-five firefighters from nine different neighboring fire districts came to Oak Park to assist, Abu-Taleb said. Assisting departments included Stickney, Berwyn, Maywood, North Riverside, Elmwood Park, Cicero and Melrose Park. The roof of the house collapsed.
"The good thing is no one got hurt," Abu-Taleb said.
Police knocked on doors in the neighboring 13-unit apartment building and alerted sleeping residents who evacuated in a hurry — many in pajamas.
"There were flames coming out of all of the windows [of 541]," said Natalie, who declined to give her last name. She fled the third floor with her pet cockapoo, leaving her cellphone and purse behind.
The L-shaped apartment building is owned by the Oak Park Residence Corporation and is called "Iowa Terrace." Calls to OPRC Executive Director Maria Soldana were not immediately returned. Residents were not allowed to return to the apartment building, which sustained fire and water damage.
Firefighters got the blaze under control around 6:30 a.m.
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