Cicero shelters 30 people displaced after major apartment fire
A major fire in an apartment building at 2123 S. 51st Court in Cicero forced the displacement of more than 30 residents, Cicero Fire Chief Mike Piekarski said Wednesday (Dec. 15, 2021) morning.
The fire erupted just after midnight and Chief Piekarski said that at least three of the building’s 35 apartments were severely damaged with smoke damaging many others.
But Piekarski said the real threat was that the fire spread through the walls and through the ceilings and firefighters carefully searched every apartment to ensure all of the residents and pets were escorted safely out of the building.
“It is a miracle that there are no injuries and no fatalities in this fire,” Piekarski said Wednesday morning after the fire was brought under control.
“The fire spread through the walls and through the ceilings and if you looked at the building from the outside you would never have known how dangerous this fire was at all. We have accounted for everyone who lives in the building including the pets.”
Piekarski said that the residents were initially taken nearby to the Cicero Public Safety Building on 34th Street but were later relocated to the Cicero Stadium at 1909 S. Laramie.
Maureen Carroll, director of the Town of Cicero’s Emergency Shelter Program said approximately 25 of the residents need sheltering and are at the Cicero Stadium where they are being provided support from the Town and the Red Cross.
“The rest chose to find shelter with their families. But they can’t go back to the building at least not now. Support includes food, clothing and blankets from the Town and the Red Cross,” Carroll said.
“So many people needed help and we are working with them to shelter them until they can find alternative living with families or friends.”
The Town of Cicero’s animal shelter, Waggin’ Tails, is sheltering several pets including five dogs and three cats, said Shelter Director Erika Rosas. Rosas said that they are checking to see if there are more pets that need temporary shelter or if the families have them taken care of.
President Larry Dominick thanked firefighters, employees at the Emergency Shelter program, the police and members of the Red Cross for helping this morning.
“We are very grateful to the fast work of the Cicero Fire Department to prevent this from becoming worse,” said Town President Larry Dominick.
“No one was injured and everyone is being cared for that needs care. Also, they were able to secure the pets in the building. The Town will do what it can to help all of the families until they can resolve their situations.”
Piekarski said that the cause of the fire is under investigation.
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