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Woman Killed at Apartment Unit Fire on North Dunton Avenue, Arlington Heights

Thu December 13 2012 6:23 am
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VIDEO: Apartment fire during overhaul after the fire was extinguished on the fourth floor of Hancock Square at Arlington Station Apartments (formerly 200 Arlington Place).

Arlington Heights police and firefighter/paramedics responded about 3:50 AM Thursday to an apartment fire at Hancock Square at Arlington Station (formerly 200 Arlington Place), 299 North Dunton Avenue. Firefighter/paramedics and police received a report that smoke was coming out of fourth floor apartment, and that there was no response when neighbors knocked on the door. Firefighter/paramedics reported they had a working fire immediately after arriving on the scene. Firefighters reported smoke coming from a unit, and reported to command that they were forcing the door. Firefighters discovered a fire in an apartment on the fourth floor, and reported that they were putting water on the fire. A few minutes later they reported a possible crime scene in the apartment. However, police are reporting “no foul play” is expected at the apartment scene, as no outside offender is believed to have caused the fire.

Because of obstructions in the apartment unit, firefighters were delayed in getting to the window to ventilate the apartment unit, and completely knock down the fire. The fire was contained to a single apartment unit, but smoke was heavy on the fourth floor and at least one or two other floors.

A female victim was apparently discovered behind some barricaded objects (possibly furniture) in the apartment. She was discovered with life-threatening injuries and transported to Northwest Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. A firefighter was transported to Northwest Community Hospital with a minor injury to a knee. Two police officers were also transported to Northwest Community Hospital and were checked for possible smoke inhalation injuries after they worked on evacuation of residents from the apartment building before firefighters arrived.

Police investigators were on the scene early Thursday morning with evidence kits, and firefighters were working past 6:00 a.m. to overhaul debris and ventilate several floors of the apartment — especially the upper floors.

Residents reported seeing heavy fire on the other side of the window inside the affected unit, after they evacuated the building, and were standing on the street. When firefighters broke the window, heavy smoke poured out of the opening. Light smoke was still coming out of the window opening more than an hour after the original call for help.

Dunton Avenue was blocked between Eastman Street and Miner Street for part of the morning rush.

Rolling Meadows Fire Department assisted Arlington Heights firefighters.

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