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Warning System Kept Apartment Fire from Spreading

A fire broke out in an Orland Hills apartment building Tuesday night, but was contained to one unit thanks to a warning system that alerted firefighters.

No one was injured when a fire broke out in an Orland Hills apartment Tuesday night.

The Orland Fire Protection District was alerted to a fire in one of the 12 units in the 9200 block of Hunter Drive around 7 p.m. The fire activated an automatic alarm system within the building that alerted firefighters, said Orland Fire Battalion Chief Nick Cinquepalmi.

Firefighters were directed to the second floor by a resident outside the building and found one unit was completely gutted by the fire, Cinquepalmi said.

“It burned out inside the unit and took it all out,” Cinquepalmi said.

About 25 residents were evacuated and took refuge in the adjacent apartment building, according to Cinquepalmi.

At least five people were unable to return to their homes after firefighters finished working on the building. The unit where the fire happened and the one below are inhospitable, with damages estimated at between $50,000 and $75,000 in costs, Cinquepalmi said.

“If it wasn’t for the auto alert, that fire would’ve definitely extended to the rest of the building and could’ve caused a fatality,” Cinquepalmi said. “I can’t stress enough how important early detection systems are, such as smoke alarms.”

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