Woman dies in Calumet City apartment fire; Many displaced residents

CALUMET CITY, Ill. – An elderly woman was killed in an apartment building fire in Calumet City on Monday.

The fire engulfed a significant portion of the Park of River Oaks Condo Association building at 7 p.m. in the 200 block of Park Avenue.

Firefighters said six people, including three firefighters, went to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Wilhelmina Williamson, 85, did not leave the building.

“The individual was found on the 7e floor,” Calumet City Fire Chief Glen Bachert said. “We transferred her to the hospital. She did not survive. »

A homeowners association leader told WGN News the destruction displaced residents by 150 units. 6e and 7e the soils are uninhabitable.

Investigators said the fire started on the second floor and quickly spread to 7e floor of the 312-unit building.

It took Calumet City and area firefighters hours to tackle the wind-driven blaze.

Many residents like Charles Simmons and his wife were rescued from their condo.

“You look up and see a firefighter climbing out your window 70 feet up,” he said. “(It’s) nerve-wracking and you start to smell the smoke.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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Additionally, the Calumet City Fire Chief said there were a limited number of sprinklers in the hallways and the actual condos had no sprinklers.

As residents determine their next steps, Calumet Town Mayor Thaddeus Jones said those affected by the fire can count on the town’s response.

“We want to be there for the city and let them know we’re going to help them rebuild,” he said. “We will help them stay in Calumet City.”

City officials credit a number of local businesses for providing residents with food and the American Red Cross for helping people find temporary housing.

Lora M. Andrew