CICERO – Officials with the Cicero Fire Department and the town of Cicero have ruled a fire in an apartment building at 5045 W. 30th Place that was reported to the fire department at 1:30 a.m. Friday was caused accidentally.
The fire caused the death of a 23-year-old man who was living in an attic room atop the three story building. Cicero officials said units in the building appeared to be divided to accommodate several families on each floor.
Police said the victim's name was being withheld pending notification of relatives.
Town spokesman Ray Hanania said the blaze is believed to have started in the rear of the building and was quickly extinguished. The exact cause is still unknown, but officials believe it was accidental.
According to Hanania, the property appeared to be overcrowded. Hanania said town officials found a mix of immigrants of many nationalities living at the building, and that the first floor unit was divided into three apartments.
Cicero has placed six residents of the apartment building into temporary housing to accommodate their transition to permanent housing.
“We have identified six people who need shelter from those living in the building,” Hanania said. “The town is assisting and has placed the six people for eight nights until they can make arrangements for permanent relocation.”
Cicero officials said many of the occupants fled the property and did not identify themselves to police, who were on hand to assist in temporary placement.
Fire officials said the property looked uninhabitable as a result of the fire. Officials said that a smoke detector did alert residents to the fire.
Officials are continuing to investigate.