Sixteen residents were left homeless after fire broke out about 7 p.m. Thursday in a apartment building at 116 Callan Ave. in Evanston.
Fire Chief Greg Klaiber says the first fire companies to arrive found flames coming from second and third floor balconies at the rear of the building.
He says a mutual aid box alarm was sounded, bringing all Evanston fire units and a ladder truck from Skokie to the scene.
Top: Damage to the rear stairwell. Above: Firefighters in a third-floor apartment damaged by the blaze. (Evanston Fire Department photos).
Klaiber says all residents of the five occupied apartments in the building managed to escape the building on their own. But the fire spread to second and third floor units in the building, causing extensive damage.
One elderly female occupant was treated on the scene for shortness of breath but was not transported. No firefighters were injured.
The fire was extinguished and struck at about 8 p.m. The chief says the cause is still under investigation.
Police victim's assistance and American Red Cross workers were on the scene to find temporary housing for the building's residents.