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More than 100 displaced after Oakbrook Terrace apartment complex fire sparked by lightning

More than 100 people have been displaced after firefighters spent hours putting out a large fire at an apartment complex in Oakbrook Terrace.

The fire broke out early Saturday morning ­at the Arden of Oak Brook apartment complex on Royce Boulevard off of Butterfield Road.

The fire started after the building was struck by lightning during the overnight storms, according to a letter sent to residents by the leasing administrator.

“We were in bed and it was raining. It was normal thunder, and all of sudden we heard the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard in my life,” said Chinitha Johnson. “My husband said that sounded close, and within like a minute a woman screamed fire. Looked out the window and there was fire in the top of the corner of the building, so we began to run out and pack and people started coming out.”

Firefighters arrived at the sprawling complex to find the roof of one of the buildings engulfed in flames.

“With everything that got up inside the attic area and the way it took off, we were up against a lot of volume of fire,” said York Fire District Chief Richard Sanborn.

Officials said even though the building and its units have sprinklers, it still took nearly five hours to put the fire out. The Lirije Mehmeti said everything in her fourth floor unit was lost.


        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        

 

“I have nothing, I’ve just got my two hands. I have no driver’s license, no passport, nothing. Everything is burned,” she said.

Crews could be seen using a drone to assess the wide extent of the damage. A large portion of the building was completely destroyed.

“It didn’t look like it was going to be that bad, and to see what it looks like this morning is unreal,” said resident Kendall Griffin.

The Red Cross remains on site to help as building management works to relocate tenants whose units were destroyed or damaged. Management said there were no injuries or casualties.

The leasing agent said the restoration company was on site.

        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        
        



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