Members of a west suburban retirement community returned home Monday after being removed when the building's power went out during Sunday's storms.
Power was restored just before 7 a.m. Monday to Concord Plaza Retirement Home in Northlake. The building's generators kicked on after the high winds and rain subsided, but they died shortly after, leaving hundreds in the dark and in sweltering heat.
"The power outage set it off. We wanted to make sure the elevators were safe to be in. We wanted to make sure that the fire system was working properly, the air conditioning was working and it got to the point where we weren't comfortable enough with each of those where we had to make that difficult decision," said Concord Plaza's executive director, David Pokorny.
Crews began the daunting task of helping nearly 300 residents evacuate the building without working elevators, and firefighters had to carry some down 15 flights of stairs.
One resident said the building's evactuation went smoothly
"It was as though it were planned," said Louis Kilborn.
The retirees were shuttled by bus to nearby shelters and hotels.