Firefighters work to extinguish an apartment fire in the 800 block of Park Avenue in Winthrop Harbor Saturday morning. | Photo Submitted to Lake and McHenry County Scanner

A police officer saved the life of a woman trapped and firefighters rescued two dogs after a fire started in an apartment building in Winthrop Harbor Saturday morning.

The Winthrop Harbor Fire Department responded around 6:40 a.m. Saturday to the 800 block of Park Avenue.

Winthrop Harbor Fire Chief Rocco Campanella said the call was initially dispatched as a person with trouble breathing.

A neighbor heard a woman banging on a wall and calling for help.

Campanella said it was soon realized the woman had trouble breathing because of a kitchen fire that had started and filled the unit with smoke. The incident was upgraded for additional fire department units.

A police officer arrived first and was able to remove a window air conditioning unit to gain access to the apartment, Campanella said.

The officer was able to rescue the woman, who did not need to be transported to the hospital.

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“Thanks to the heroic efforts from the Winthrop Harbor Police Department, a good outcome was obtained,” the fire chief said.

Firefighters arrived to find smoke coming from the single-story multi-family building.

The fire was contained to the room of origin and extinguished by the use of a single hose line, according to Winthrop Harbor Deputy Fire Chief John Lewis.

Crews performed overhaul to check for any fire extension beyond the room of origin. The fire had not extended.

Firefighters located two small dogs hiding in the apartment and safely removed them, Lewis said.

Firefighters also checked adjacent apartments for fire and smoke extension but none was found.

Lewis said residents of the adjacent units were initially evacuated but were later allowed to return.

Village officials declared one of the units uninhabitable and the American Red Cross was notified.

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Firefighters remained on the scene for over two hours, Lewis said. No injuries were reported.

The Beach Park, Newport, North Chicago, Pleasant Prairie and Zion fire departments assisted at the scene. The Libertyville Fire Department covered the Winthrop Harbor fire station.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Winthrop Harbor Fire Department.