At Least 1 Dead, Several Injured After Extra-Alarm Fire Tears Through Kenwood High Rise, Chicago Officials Say – NBC Chicago

At least one person was killed and eight other people were injured in an extra-alarm fire in Chicago’s Kenwood neighborhood on the South Side Wednesday morning, according to authorities.

The blaze broke out at approximately 10 a.m. in the upper levels of a high-rise apartment building at 4850 South Lake Park Avenue, spreading to the 15th, 16th and 17th floors just before 11 a.m., according to Chicago Fire officials.

Fire officials later said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon that the fire spread vertically up to the 24th floor of the high-rise, and required the work of 300 firefighters and over 80 pieces of equipment.

Officials said the 25-story building has a total of 298 units, with 267 of the units occupied at the time of the fire.

The blaze was said to be “under control” just before 11 a.m. on at least one of the floors.

While fire officials confirmed that eight people were transported to area hospitals with injuries, their conditions are currently unknown. Officials were also unable to confirm if the person who was killed in the fire was a resident.

One firefighter was also taken to a local hospital in fair condition with an orthopedic injury, while 33 civilians on scene refused further medical treatment.

According to building inspection documents obtained by NBC 5, Chicago building inspectors have cited the building at least 12 times for “alleged code violations” over the past 12 months.

At least eight of those alleged violations were related to fire safety, including what inspectors described as a “defective fire pump,” missing fire tags on doors and more, the documents revealed.

Four times within the past year – including just last month – city inspectors have said the building must “provide for an annual fire alarm/voice communication system test.” 

Dating back to Oct. of 2021, building inspectors had, as a result of violations discovered, asked building owners to perform annual, required inspections of any existing sprinkler system and standpipes.

Building inspectors also directed building owners to repair or replace the “6-inch water supply” to the fire pump “at once.”

According to the Midwest Housing Association of Housing Cooperatives, the 25-story apartment building was built in 1970, and contains 306 units.

NBC 5 has not been able to confirm if the entire building is equip with a sprinkler system, or where in the building sprinkler valves are located.

Check back for more on this developing story.

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