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ByMaher Kawash and the ABC7 Chicago Digital Team

Sunday, March 19, 2023 23:46

The Vernon Hills apartment fire left two people dead, police said

VERNON HILLS, Sick (WLS) — Two people died in a fire at the Vernon Hills apartment building Sunday morning.

Loved ones were too shaken to speak to ABC7 when crew arrived at the building hours after firefighters first got the call for help.

“I looked in my window, all the lights, and I saw lots of people screaming and running. It was crazy,” said Juan Hernandez, who lives in a compound nearby.

Hernandez said he saw eight to 12 fire trucks as the fire engulfed the three-story building in the 900 S. Court of Shorewood block at 3:15 am.

The fire damage extended to every floor. As firefighters searched the building, they said they found the body of one victim, and transported another to the Advocates Condell Medical Center, where they later died. Police said their identities were not yet known.

Neighbors took to the scene, shocked to hear about the loss of two lives. The names of the victims have not been released.

“I've never seen anything like this before. Never,” Hernandez said. “I feel sad, because sometimes, while you are sleeping, you never know if the next day you will be alive or not.”

Fire officials said the building was uninhabitable and the Red Cross was currently working to provide temporary shelter for other residents.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, and is being investigated by the Rural Fire Protection District, the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office and the Vernon Hills Police Department.

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