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Lakeview Fire Displaces 13 From Apartment Building

By Alex Parker | March 3, 2013 11:07pm | Updated on March 4, 2013 8:55am

LAKEVIEW — A fire ravaged the top floors of a three-story Lakeview apartment building Sunday night, displacing 13 people and leaving an acrid aroma across the Southport Corridor.

The blaze, in the 1200 block of West Roscoe Street, began about 8:30 p.m. and consumed the back rooms of the top two floors, carving an eerie half-moon shape that once contained the apartments' kitchens. Investigators said they think the fire began on the second-floor porch. There were no injuries, and the investigation is ongoing.

Anthony Bongiorno, 25, said he was watching TV with his girfriend, who lives on the building's third floor, when her neighbors knocked on their door, warning them of the fire.

"We looked out the back. It was all red," he said. They grabbed Bongiorno's girlfriend's cat and rushed out the front of the building.

"It was scary," he said.

A resident who lives in the garden apartment and declined to give his name said his neighbors also warned him of the fire.

They "came down and banged on all the doors, and we've been outside [ever since]," he said about 10:30 p.m.

"I went back in to get my laptop," he said. "Then I could see my bedroom filling up with smoke."

Two hours after the fire started, residents and friends milled around the front of the building, some crying, others making arrangements to stay elsewhere.

Chicago Fire Department officials allowed residents back into the building to gather their belongings.