BENSENVILLE, Illinois (Fox 32 News) - Investigators are still trying to determine what caused a large fire at an apartment building in Bensenville early Sunday morning which killed one person.
The fire swept through all 18 units. Fire officials said they believed the fire originated in the unit of the man who died.
“Everything's gone. I have nothing left,” said Gina Lovergine, who escaped the flames.
Talking to Lovergine, the effect of the devastation left as flames tore through the three story apartment building becomes clear.
The fire roared through the apartment with such speed, there was only time for action.
“I thought I was dreaming,” Lovergine said. “I looked outside and I smelled smoke and I hit my fiancé and ran and grabbed my daughter and ran down the stairs.”
Police who were first on the scene immediately began evacuating others from the bottom floor as firefighters from 26 departments converged, according to Bensenville Fire Protection District Chief Michael Spain.
At 6:20 a.m., the 300 block of Marshall road became the place where part of Lovergine's family history was lost.
“My dad passed away when I was 8 years old, and there was some of his stuff in there that he gave me that is probably gone,” Lovergine said,
Ken Migawa watched from his home across the street.
“It's bad because it's the holidays. You've got Thanksgiving, you've got Christmas coming up, and a lot of people lost everything,” he said.
And it was tough for Lovergine to look at what was left of her home. She was set to be married in less than a year but is now re-thinking those plans, she said. But if there is any silver lining to be taken, it's that firefighters were able to find her diamond engagement ring after a search, hidden among the buildings ashes.
The Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois was helping approximately 30-40 people that were left homeless as a result of the fire. The cause is under investigation by the DuPage Fire Investigation Task Force. No injuries to firefighters were reported.