Fire breaks out at apartment near campus, forcing at least one NU student to temporarily relocate

Evan Robinson-Johnson, Photo Editor

Around 4 p.m. Wednesday, the Evanston and Wilmette Fire Departments responded to a roof fire at 1740 Hinman Ave. According to EFD captain Jeffrey Boetto, the fire was put out by crews within an hour and there were no reported injuries.

The apartment building is home to both Evanston residents and Northwestern students, who looked on nervously as firefighters worked. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

Communication junior Robert Hollocher lives in a fourth floor apartment of the building and said EFD told him that the roof of his suite caved in and there is heavy water damage. Hollocher said he has not been allowed to return to his apartment.

“They have no idea when we’d be allowed back in,” Hollocher said. “I’d just like to be able to look at the damage and get things I need.”

Evan Robinson-Johnson/Daily Senior Staffer
Communication junior Robert Hollocher learns from EFD that his apartment was heavily damaged by the fire. “They have no idea when we’d be allowed back in,” Hollocher said.

EFD suggested he stay at a friends’ residence for the indefinite future, Hollocher said. Hollocher added that Evanston police Chief Demitrous Cook suggested he contact Dean of Students Todd Adams for advice and information regarding a possible relocation.

SESP senior Meredith Falk said she was escorted to her apartment by EFD to rescue her dog, Sox.

“He was in there the whole time, I just got him back,” Falk said. “I found him trembling… He’s going to be shaken up for some time.”

Evan Robinson-Johnson/Daily Senior Staffer
SESP senior Meredith Falk embraces her dog Sox after retrieving him from her apartment. Falk said she found him “trembling.”

The firefighters fought the blaze from above and below, entering from a back door to the complex and using ladders to fight the fire from the roof. Once on the roof, firefighters used large Halligan bars and a fire rescue saw to open the roof of the building before dousing the flames with water from a fire hose.

Evan Robinson-Johnson/Daily Senior Staffer
Firefighters spray water through a hole in the roof of the apartment building. The fire was put out by crews within an hour and there were no reported injuries.

Communication junior Tucker DeGregory also lives in the building and ran over before a rehearsal after receiving a text from a friend alerting him to the fire in his building.

DeGregory, along with many other residents, was concerned that the damage wouldn’t be covered by renter’s insurance.

“The next step is just to wait it out and see what our landlord has to offer,” DeGregory said.

Multiple students expressed frustration with the building and its landlord. Hollocher said there have been issues with doors not working and sprinkler installments. He added that workers have been doing repairs on the roof for the past month.

DeGregory also described incidents of “terrible” management, such as a recent rent increase, unannounced maintenance visits and general unresponsiveness.

This is a developing story. Updates will be posted as they become available.

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