Suburban Fire Leaves Dozens Homeless

Lightning suspected in blaze

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Fifty people are looking for new homes. (Published Monday, Apr 5, 2010)

    Investigators believe faulty lighting may be the culprit for a fire that ripped through a Downer's Grove apartment building, displacing 50 residents and destroying 16 units.

    It happened shortly after 12 a.m. Monday at the Downers Belmont Apartments (4901 Belmont Road).

    "Someone gave me some shoes to wear. Everything we own is just gone," LaDonna Ferraro said.

    Investigators say the fire spread through the attic area of the apartment building, and the units on the second floor collapsed onto those on the first.

    "It was huge. The flames were so high, everything was crackling and bursting out," Ferraro said. "They were pounding on the doors and telling us to get out. Just discombobulated."

    Investigators are trying to determine if lightning sparked the blaze.

    Several agencies are assisting the residents with their needs.