WEST ROGERS PARK — Frozen fire hydrants complicated the efforts of firefighters Monday as they put out a blaze in two units of a four-story building in the 6900 block of North Oakley Avenue, officials said.
No one was injured in the fire, but seven people who lived in the two units on the top floor of the building were displaced, said Chris Lyons, deputy district chief with the Chicago Fire Department.
Lyons said when crews responded to the fire about 1 p.m., they encountered frozen fire hydrants and additional fire engines were called in to supply water.
"The fire was quickly extinguished," he said
He said frozen hydrants have been pretty "common" this year in the extreme cold.
"We've had a very tough winter," he said.
More than a half-dozen engines were on the scene Monday afternoon. Several firefighters used a ladder to reach the roof of the building.
Shoaib Mohammad, 40, said the fire started in his condo.
"The plumber, he was doing the work and then he used [a] torch and it started the fire," said Mohammad, visibly shaken and grasping a grey laptop he rescued as he fled his home. "I just ran out."
Mohammad said he lived there with his two children, who were in school at the time of the fire, and his wife, Bela Khizer, 39.
The Red Cross was on the scene assisting the family.
"I don't know what we're going to do," Khizer said. "We're homeless."