Some displaced during Christmas week after deadly NW Side apartment fire


CHICAGO Several families were left homeless after a fire broke out in a Northwest apartment building on Saturday night, killing one person and injuring another.

With less than a week until Christmas, many renters who spoke to WGN News say they don’t have tenant insurance. The American Red Cross has offered to help displaced families find temporary housing.

For Julissa Duran, it was paramount that she retrieved pictures of her parents and sister from her burned-out second-floor apartment, but the devastation was still there.

“I feel, for me, it’s hard to believe that this is the place we used to call home,” Duran said. “Now, we don’t have anything.”

Duran’s family was not at home when flames shot through their roof just after 7pm. The fire department added an alarm to Grand and Laramie as the fire spread to units in the adjoining building.

Venancio Delfino, an 81-year-old man who lived in the area below Duran, did not survive. Two other people were injured in the fire. A dog also died.

“Apparently, our downstairs neighbor left some food ready for his father, and then he went to work,” Duran said.

As the fire department investigates the cause of the fire, the tenants will be left alone in the cold days leading up to Christmas.

“I don’t even know who gave them to me but they gave me these pants to put on so I wouldn’t freeze to death,” said Tamanique Porter, a tenant who has moved out. “The scary part is you don’t know where you’re going in the next 10, 20, 40 days without a penny in your pocket. We just paid the rent. So Christmas, I can’t even think of Christmas. I’m just trying not to fall in front of my kids.”

The landlord arrived at the property site on Sunday morning. WGN News tried to speak to the landlord but was unsuccessful after she refused to answer questions. But tenants say they are also being closed.

“When we asked if we had to leave, if she could give us our deposit back or ask if you had any more apartments for us to buy, she just looked at us and passing by,” said Porter.

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A fire department spokesman told WGN News that authorities were still trying to contact the owner of the building.

“We are at a loss. Among our things, everything,” said Duran. “We have not received a response on our deposits. Is not.” Some displaced during Christmas week after deadly NW Side apartment fire


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