RICHTON PARK, Ill. — Fire crews battled a four-alarm fire at an apartment complex in Richton Park Friday morning.
The fire broke out around 7:45 a.m. in the 3800 block of Canterbury Court.
It took hours for 22 fire departments and several hours to put out the flames.
30 families lost their homes.
“I’ve lost everything in my house, everything,” resident Carolyn Jones said.
Minnie Walker fears she would have lost even more if it weren’t for her neighbors
“They knocked real hard and my neighbors came and they carried me down the steps,” she said. “If they wouldn’t have come and got me, it would have been a funeral today. And I’m very grateful that they came.”
Walker said they woke her up on the morning of a dreaded anniversary.
“My sister died on this day in a fire with her grandbaby,” she said. “And the smoke that killed them could have been the smoke that killed me.”
Everyone who lives in the building at the Richton Square apartments made it out safely. Even the neighbor’s cat, thanks to the firefighters.
Aisha Levon said she smelled the smoke, got her family out and then tried to warn her neighbors.
“I actually start screaming outside the building,” she said. “And the lady told me she heard me and was able to get out.”
Investigators said the fire started when someone left food burning on their stove.