Prospect Heights residents displaced by fire demand answers

PROSPECT HEIGHTS, Ill. — Residents displaced by last week’s fire in Prospect Heights said they were angry about being promised help they aren't getting.

Residents came to a meeting Monday evening with officials to demand answers. Some of the residents displaced by the fire were uninsured and are now out in the cold. They learned Monday that completing repairs could take a year, maybe two.

More than 300 people were left homeless by the fire in the apartment building. Displaced residents said they fled their homes with nothing and were promised access to donations and are being denied.

The blaze ripped through three multi-unit buildings in the 800 block of Mcintosh Court on July 18. It took 150 firefighters from 50 departments to extinguish the fire, which completely destroyed two buildings and caused significant smoke, fire and water damage in a third.

It was confirmed that a child accidentally started the fire and would not be charged.

A small fire rekindled Thursday evening, but has since been extinguished.

Residents in buildings 14, 15 and 16 can retrieve belongings Friday afternoon after checking in with building management. Those in building 14 can access their units at 1 p.m., building 15 at 2 p.m. and building 16 at 3 p.m. Residents are told to wear good shoes, long pants and long shirts. Management said people will be given 15 minutes to grab what they need.

Local authorities are now asking for clothing and cash donations. Clothing can be brought to the River Trails Condominium Association, 811 Apple Dr., in Prospect Heights, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

Cash be donated to the American Red Cross, which has set up a shelter for displaced residents, or the Katie Samsel Foundation, which will benefit families with children in School District 21.

The complex is known as a home to immigrants because of the large number of residents from other countries.

Prospect Heights fire relief by WGN Web Desk on Scribd