1 injured in Near North high-rise fire

Tribune reporter

One person suffered mild smoke inhalation in an apartment fire at a Gold-Coast high-rise that was quickly extinguished by the Chicago Fire Department this afternoon.

Fire crews responded to an automatic alarm on the 14th floor of the building at 1100 N. Lake Shore Drive, according to Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner Mark Nielsen, correcting earlier information that the fire was on the fourth floor. A still-and-box alarm, which sends at least four fire engines and four fire trucks to a scene, and an emergency medical services plan 1, which sends six ambulances to the scene, were called for the fire.

“It’s a response that we use for any high-rise fire where there is a working fire that necessitates a lead-out where we have to actually stretch hose,” Nielsen said. “This is the kind of response that we get. It is large.”

The fire was confined to one apartment on the 14th floor, where crews could be seen breaking windows to air out the unit. Though smoke spread to other parts of the building, residents were not evacuated.

“We advocated that people stay in place from the get-go,” Nielsen said.

The fire was out by about 2:05 p.m., and one man, about 71 years old, was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in good condition, according to the Fire Department. The injured man was on the 18th floor and complained of smoke inhalation, so he was taken to the hospital to be checked for injuries, Nielsen said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it is believed to have originated from a heating unit in the living room.

“You had a lot of smoke from plastics,” Nielsen said, “not a lot of heat, not a lot of flame.”

Inner Lake Shore Drive was closed to traffic while the fire was being fought.

mmrodriguez@tribune.com | Twitter: @merjourn

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