HYDE PARK — Eight fire engines crowded around The Versailles apartment building around 11 a.m. today after an electrical fire broke out on the top floor.
No smoke or flames were visible from the street, but residents and firefighters on the scene confirmed that an electrical room on the eight floor of the apartment building at 5254 S. Dorchester Ave. had caught on fire.
Residents described hearing a loud bang, followed by the power going out.
“It sounded like an explosion, or like someone dropped some wood,” said Gordy Celestine, who has lived on the fifth floor of the Versailles since 2003.
Celestine said he got dressed and hiked up the stairs toward the roof to investigate. He said as he reached the stairwell leading to the roof, he saw smoke coming from a locked mechanical room that smelled strongly like something electrical was burning.
Within a half an hour firefighters contained the fire, which was started by an overheated motor, according to the Chicago Fire Department’s Twitter feed.
Residents said no fire alarms went off and only people living on the seventh floor were evacuated. Some said they thought it was a brownout and not a fire as they gathered in the lobby before firefighters arrived.
“I was assuming if it was something serious, they would be yelling, ‘Get out, get out,’” said Alex Stikle, who lives on the first floor.
Five ambulances were dispatched to the scene and stretchers were seen wheeled into the building, but no injuries were reported.