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60-year-old woman dies following fire at senior apartment complex in Zion

Firefighters extinguish a fire at the Carmel House Senior Apartments, 2815 Elisha Avenue in Zion, which left three people hospitalized Monday morning. | Photo: Max Weingardt.

A 60-year-old woman who was rescued from a fire at a senior apartment building in Zion has died. Two other people were also hospitalized following the blaze.

An autopsy showed Dawn Gideon, 60, of Zion, died as a result of smoke inhalation, according to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek.

The Zion Fire and Rescue Department responded around 12:18 a.m. Monday to the Carmel House Senior Apartments, 2815 Elisha Avenue, for a structure fire.

Battalion Chief Jason Messick said firefighters found minor to moderate smoke conditions on the third floor of the multi-story senior living facility.

Firefighters located the origin of the fire in an apartment which had heavy smoke and fire coming from it.

Firefighters found Gideon trapped inside the apartment and immediately rescued her and took her to an awaiting ambulance.

Paramedics transported Gideon to Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan in serious condition, Messick said.

Gideon was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Two other residents were also transported to the hospital.

Firefighters extinguished the fire and helped evacuate other residents from the building.

The third floor was ventilated using positive pressure ventilation and utilities were shut off to the affected apartment, Messick said.

All occupants of the approximately 90-unit apartment complex were assisted to the Zion City Hall, which was used as a warming shelter and staging location for the residents.

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Once the smoke was completely ventilated from the building and damage was assessed, the residents were assisted back to their units.

Nine apartments sustained damage. One of them was affected by fire and two adjacent units were affected by smoke and water damage. Six other units below the room of origin sustained water damage.

SHP Management Corp, which manages the building, said that all of their residents whose units were damaged have since been able to return home except for one.

“A fire is always a tragic experience, but this tragedy is compounded by the death of a community member so close to the holidays. Therefore, our thoughts are first with the family and friends of the deceased resident, who have our deepest sympathy, and with all affected residents for whom we care greatly,” SHP Management President Matt Brucker said.

Approximately 25 apparatus with approximately 55 fire personnel responded to the scene from across Lake County and southern Wisconsin. The Zion ESDA and Illinois State Fire Marshal also assisted.

The State Fire Marshal and local fire investigators are working to identify the cause and origin of the fire, Messick said.


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