UPDATE: Fire Blazes at North Side High Rise (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

The 43-story Chicago building caught fire, and there are no injuries, this isn't the first time a fire ravaged the building. Residents and the fire commissioner talk about the blaze.


Chicago police and fire crews were called to 2626 N. Lakeview Ave. today around 3:30 p.m. after an alarm signaled a fire in the building, according to firefighters on the scene.

The building is one and a half blocks south of the corner of Diversey Parkway and Sheridan Road. 

The blaze happened on the 24th floor, and it was under control by 4 p.m. Emergency personnel were going door-to-door in the building letting residents know about the fire, but they were not asked to evacuate.

Rachel Rosencranz, a resident on the 27th floor, said she wasn’t in the building when the fire happened, but could see it from the lakeshore.  

“It was a fire that had a lot of potential for things to go wrong.”

“We weren’t here when it happened, but I was worried because our dogs were in there,” Rosencranz said. “I was just counting the floors (while standing outside). We have a friend who lives on 19, so I took a picture and sent it to him… Someone said they saw the explosion out of the side of the building, but that’s just hearsay.”

Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said the wind was coming off the lake when the fire started, affecting the flames, and nobody was in the apartment at the time. He added that only one unit was damaged by the blaze, and firefighters tried to keep the water damage at a minimum.

“It was a fire that had a lot of potential for things to go wrong,” Santiago said.

The Chicago Fire Department tweeted that the Office of Fire Investigations will be investigating cause, but according to Santiago, there are currently no leads as to what started the fire.

And this isn't the first time the building caught on fire. On Jan. 26, 2007, a more serious fire occoured on the 26th floor, killing two elderly residents, Chi Town Daily News reported. At the time, the building didn't have sprinklers. It is unclear if the building now has a sprinkler system. More than 150 firefighters responded.

Editor's Note: This story was edited for clairty on Oct. 26. 

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James T Reap October 26, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I think you are deluding yourselves with comments like that. I suspect you would be big fans of sprinklers if retrofitting them was free. Good luck and stay safe.
Dave October 26, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Sprinklers typically prevent a fire from spreading to other areas of the building than preventing damage and harm to those in the affected unit. And based on the story it doesn't sound as though a spreading fire caused the deaths as much as the poor health of the occupants and being too close to the fire that the one occupant apparently caused.
Andy Ambrosius October 26, 2012 at 04:20 PM
You guys are right - The part about the 2007 fire was worded funny. We can't be certain if sprinklers would have saved their lives. But stay tuned - plan to follow up with the building to see if they updated their sprinkler system since the 2007 fire. Thanks, guys! :)
drew October 26, 2012 at 05:11 PM
My building has sprinklers. It seems like a no brain-er that most all high rises should be required to have sprinklers. Firefighters shouldn't have to risk their lives because associations are cheap. For example, It's just plain stupid that a building like the Park Place doesn't have sprinklers.
Mary Ann Cronin March 31, 2013 at 06:13 PM
I received a number of emails while I was out of town on vacation that there was another fire in this building just recently, in the second or third week of March, 2013. For the past year or so I have been analyzing costs, financing and underwriting of automatic fire protection systems in older high-rises in Chicago, and I would be happy to look at 2626 N. Lakeview. I also happen to live in Lakeview. My company is MAC Consulting Services and I can be reached at cronin8223@gmail.com if Sudler Management is interested in such an analysis for 2626 N. Lakeview. FYI, I do not charge for the upfront analysis.


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