UPDATED: 5-Story Morgan Park Condo Building Gutted By Fire

Firefighters put out a fire that left three floors collapsed Saturday afternoon and dozens homeless.

No injuries have been reported in a fire that left the interior of a 32-unit Morgan Park condo building partially collapsed. 

The fire broke out around 2:20 p.m. at 2030 W. 111th Street, according to Chicago Fire Department officials. 

Chicago Deputy Fire Commissioner John McNicholas said the 3-11 alarm fire has so far caused minor injuries to four people who were treated at the scene but declined to go to the hospital.

Roddric Sims lives on the third floor of the building and was home with his son Ryan, 7, when the fire broke out. 

"The alarm went off, someone was outside yelling 'Fire!'," Sims said. "I walked out of my son's room and saw black smoke coming out of the vent."

Sims then picked up his son and ran to the end of the hallway and ran down the stairwell. 

"To get everyone out and not have anyone injured is a blessing," Sims said. "All my stuff is pretty much gone."

Sims has lived in the building for about seven years. Two patio chairs and a small table sit almost undamaged outside the window of his unit, but inside is a much different story. 

The blaze caused the closure of 111th Street between Longwood Drive and Bell Avenue for much of the afternoon and evening.

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At one point, one firefighter was lost in the building and called a "Mayday," said McNicholas. He was quickly located.  

The landlord of the building aided the fire department in regard to residents of the building. A head count is being taken, and no one is listed as missing, he said.   

Heavy smoke was pouring out of the fourth and fifth story windows as flames flared up on the fourth floor. Firefighters concentrated their efforts on the third and fifth floors, pouring a steady stream of water at what seemed to be the heaviest concentration of smoke.

The fifth floor has collapsed into the fourth floor and the fourth has collapsed into the third.

The fire got into the walls, causing portions of the building's interior to collapse, explained McNicholas. Because of the building's unstable structure, firefighters had a difficult time gaining access to all portions the building.

A check of all accessible areas was completed by 6 p.m. 

What emergency responders are dealing with now is just a "shell of a building," McNicholas said.  

Ald. Matt O'Shea was on the scene updating residents who were gathered at the Walker Public Library. He suggests to those looking to make donations, to contact the Chicago chapter of the American Red Cross at http://www.redcross.org/il/chicago

The Red Cross was on the scene providing relief to the building's residents. 

Updated 7:15 p.m. 

Mike Fangman November 25, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Glad to hear everyone is okay. You can always get new stuff. You can't get a new life.
Terese Humes November 27, 2012 at 01:43 PM
I just want to say that the emergency crews dispatched to our building were cohesive in their efforts. Everything worked smoothly. All agencies (which include, but certainly not limited to: CFD, CPD, Salvation Army, American Red Cross, and Department of Buildings) worked together in the effort to assist us. Marlene Hopkins (Managing Deputy Commissioner, Dept. Of Buildings ) was on top of things in ensuring our safety when unit owners were allowed to return to the building in an effort to retrieve some items. She was stern and direct in her organization and showed compassion when it was necessary. I was very impressed and we can't thank them enough. Alderman Matt O'Shea (19th Ward) and his team were and continue to be WONDERFUL. They show tremendous support, on a daily basis, along with the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood. The 19th Ward has begun donations and have events in the making to continue assisting us. Some of us at 2030 W. 111th street were overwhelmed with such generosity and true concern for our well being. We were wondering if all Wards, under the leadership of their Alderman, were so caring? If not....take note from the 19th Ward. Matt O'Shea is on the ball! Thank you again.
Dan Lambert November 28, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Terese. My best to you and all your neighbors. We will be following up with stories on how people can help.


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