Cause of Prospect Heights Blaze Not Criminal: Fire Chief

The cause of the massive fire that destroyed a condo complex in Prospect Heights did not appear to be criminal, fire officials said Friday. 

Prospect Heights Fire Chief Drew Smith said the fire sparked in a second-floor condo and the investigation into the cause involved a juvenile. 

"We believe there was no criminal intent," Smith said, noting that further information was not available. 

The residents of nearly 100 units were displaced by the blaze Wednesday in the northwest suburb.

The five-alarm fire started about 1:30 p.m. at a four-building complex in the 800 block of McIntosh Court in Prospect Heights, according to Smith. Flames spread to three of the buildings before it was brought under control by about 9 p.m.

The remnants of the fire continued to smolder after that, and firefighters remained at the scene soaking hot spots until about 6 a.m. Thursday, Smith said.

Two civilians were injured in the fire, Smith said. One of them was hospitalized while the other was treated at a hospital and released. A firefighter also suffered minor injuries and was treated and released from a hospital.

All residents of about 96 units were displaced as a result of the fire, Smith said.

The American Red Cross opened a shelter at Lakewood Chapel, 1307 E. Palatine Road in Arlington Heights, to assist the affected residents, the organization said in a statement. The shelter will remain open until all residents can be relocated.

Donations were also being accepted at the River Trails condo office. The office said it has received plenty of clothing, toys and furtniture, but is still in need of:

  • Monetary donations
  • Rubber bands to tie shoes
  • Over the counter meds
  • Lice meds (child/adult)
  • Wipes
  • Diapers
  • Formula
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Baby bottles
  • More volunteers
  • Food and water
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