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Fire in downtown McHenry displaces more than 30 people

Published: Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014 1:47 p.m. CST • Updated: Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014 11:36 p.m. CST
(Photo provided by Shawn McCleavy of Impromptu Photo by Shawn)
Fire crews work the scene of a fire at Route 120 and Riverside Drive in McHenry Sunday.

McHENRY – A fire at a McHenry apartment building Sunday left more than 30 people without shelter.

The McHenry Township Fire Protection District responded at 11:37 a.m. to the call for a fire at the building known as Riverside Hotel, 3308 W. Elm St., McHenry. Crews were able to extinguish the blaze before it spread beyond the three-bedroom apartment where it started, according to a news release from the district.

The three-story building was declared uninhabitable because of widespread smoke damage. A first-floor office and the Fox Hole Tap & Pizzeria, a restaurant in the building, also suffered significant water damage, the release said.

Fire officials and the McHenry Police Department are investigating the fire but haven't yet named a cause.

The building includes 40 apartment units in addition to the restaurant. The McHenry County Housing Authority and American Red Cross were helping provide assistance to 31 displaced residents, according to the release.

Emergency crews got to the fire within two minutes of being dispatched. They found smoke coming from three second-floor windows on the southwest side of the building, which faces Riverside Drive.

Residents were exiting the building, some by using the fire escape, when crews arrived. Smoke alarms within the building had activated to alert the occupants, the release said.

The fire was under control within 19 minutes of the original dispatch.

The blaze tied up traffic on Route 120, near the downtown McHenry area.

District 15 provided a school bus at the scene to be used as shelter for the residents, according to the release.

McHenry Township Fire was assisted by the Crystal Lake Fire Department, Fox Lake Fire Protection District, Wonder Lake Fire Protection District, Spring Grove Fire Protection District, Richmond Fire Protection District, Cary Fire Protection District, Woodstock Fire Rescue District and the Lake Villa Fire Protection District.

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