Fire at U. of C. building injures 8, leaves hundreds without power

Firefighters crowd the scene at 58th and Dorchester Monday evening where a fire choked the air with noxious gas.

Firefighters crowd the scene at 58th and Dorchester Monday evening where a fire choked the air with noxious gas.

By JESSICA KIM COHEN
Herald Intern

Forty-seven emergency medical service and fire vehicles gathered yesterday near an apartment building at 5825 S. Dorchester Ave., after a fire broke out there around 4 p.m. The 15-story, 35-unit building, owned and managed by the University of Chicago (U. of C.), rents to U. of C. faculty and staff.

Eight people were taken to nearby hospitals, according to Chicago Fire Department (CFD) Media Affairs, who say fire’s origin is still being investigated.

Many reports noted the fire started in a ComEd electrical vault – ComEd Media Relations representative Kim Morris-Johnson, however, said it began elsewhere.

“The fire was in an equipment room, adjacent to the vault, which does not belong to us,” Morris-Johnson said.

The fire caused approximately 260 customers to lose power. An additional 650 customers lost power when CFD asked ComEd to drop a separate power line, according to Morris-Johnson.

“We had no idea there was a fire,” said Nina Dubin, 12th floor resident. “The thing is, because of the power outage, the smoke alarm didn’t even go off.”

Morris-Johnson said all power has been restored, except to the building at 5825 S. Dorchester Ave., which is undergoing repairs.

hpherald@hpherald.com