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Lincoln Park High-Rise Fire Produces Heavy Smoke, But No Injuries

By Paul Biasco | March 11, 2014 6:31am
 A fire that started in the kitchen of an apartment at 2150 N. Lincoln Park West Monday night filled a 12th floor hallway with smoke.
Lincoln Park Fire
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LINCOLN PARK — A high-rise apartment fire near the lakefront in Lincoln Park filled a 12th floor hallway with heavy smoke Monday night, but all residents were able to escape unharmed.

The Chicago Fire Department responded to the Webster House Apartments, 2150 N. Lincoln Park West, around 10:15 p.m. after the fire broke out in the 14-story building, officials said.

One of the building's maintenance men began knocking on doors on the 12th floor alerting occupants to the fire, according to a resident of the floor.

Rick Cooke, 29, was in his living room on the 12th floor when he heard the knock.

"As soon as I opened the door, you couldn't see anything," Cooke said. "It was like, 'Oh my God.'"

Cooke alerted his fiancee, Sara Creehan, who was in the shower, that the building was on fire.

All he could see was "really thick, pitch-black" smoke and said he told Creehan, "Get the hell out of here, go to the stairs."

The maintenance man was leading people to the stairwell, Creehan said, and she and Cooke were the last two on the floor to evacuate.

The fire started in the kitchen and a preliminary investigation deemed it accidental, Deputy District Chief Steve Chikerotis said.

"We had no injuries, so it's a good fire," Chikerotis said.

Firefighters confined the flames to the kitchen of the unit where it started, Chikerotis said.

"It was quickly put out with good firefighters and one hose line," he said.

The apartment on the 12th floor suffered the majority of damage, but units below on the 11th, 10th, ninth and eighth floors all suffered water damage.

The 14-story building known as the Webster House was constructed in 1919 and is home to more than 350 residents, according to the building's website.