I spent the morning working from Starbucks, then was going to walk down to Five Guys and grab a burger for lunch. I walked out the door of Starbucks and wondered, why are all those people standing there? What's that smoke? Oh no, the apartment building at 6720 North Sheridan Road was on fire. Smoke seemed to be pouring out of two middle windows on the top floor. (The building is a four plus one.) Just as soon as I had walked out and saw the smoke, I heard sirens, and police and fire showed up seconds later. It was clear that I was in no position to help, so I hung back and took a few pictures.
Click here to see some more pictures from the fire and rescue efforts.
One lady was sticking her head out of her fourth floor window, telling people she couldn't get out of her apartment. This was right when the fire trucks were arriving. The CFD didn't spend any time messing around. They very quickly set things up so they could get a ladder up to her. She did make it down OK. She's on the stretcher here, I wonder if perhaps only due to possible smoke inhalation. At the same time, the firefighters were helping one or two more people down from another fourth floor apartment on the other side of the fire.
It looks as though the people in the two adjacent apartments were able to get down safely, thanks to the good work of the Chicago Fire Department. Here's hoping that the burned apartment was unoccupied.
Update: One dead and four injured, according to CBS2. :(