A man is in critical condition after being rescued by firefighters from his burning apartment in Waukegan Sunday evening, fire officials said.
The Waukegan Fire Department responded around 5:30 p.m. Sunday to the 700 block of North Linden Street for a report of a smoke alarm activated with smoke coming from an apartment.
A person called 911 and told dispatchers that they noticed smoke coming from the neighboring apartment unit as they were evacuating.
Firefighters arrived and found flames coming from the windows on the south side of an apartment unit in a four-unit apartment complex.
“Crews began a rapid aggressive attack to confine the fire to this one apartment. Other responding crews immediately also began a search for any subjects in the apartment that was on fire,” Waukegan Fire Marshal Steven Lenzi said.
Firefighters located a man, who was described as being approximately 50-60 years old, from the apartment that was on fire. Paramedics transported the man to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan in critical condition.
The fire was contained to the one unit in the complex and residents in the three other units were displaced because power had to be shut off to the building, Lenzi said.
The American Red Cross assisted the displaced residents. The fire was extinguished within 30 minutes and crews remained at the scene for three hours.
Damaged is estimated at $40,000 and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“While not only rapidly working to extinguish this fire, crews were able to rescue a subject, provide critical medical care and transport the victim to the hospital. This fire serves as a reminder that working smoke detectors save lives,” Lenzi said.
“Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you early warning so you can get outside quickly,” Lenzi added.