1 hospitalized after Tinley Park senior living apartment complex catches fire

TINLEY PARK, Ill. - A residential unit at a senior living complex caught fire in Tinley Park on Monday evening.

At approximately 5:15 p.m., the Tinley Park Fire Department responded to Hanover Place, which is located at 16851 S. Harlem Avenue.

The fire prompted a large response at the three-story complex. There, emergency crews from several neighboring cities were on-hand to assist.

The fire broke out in a first-floor unit, where one woman was rescued and transported to the hospital with burn injuries.

Fire officials did not know how severe those injuries were on Monday night.

"Our firefighters quickly deployed a hose line, went in there, made one rescue of a lady inside the building," said Chief Steve Klotz, Tinley Park Fire Department.

Klotz said a fire sprinkler in the woman’s living room was automatically activated – containing the fire until crews arrived.

"It’s kind of scary you know, especially after you just moved in," said Debbie Drackley, a resident.

Drackley moved in just two weeks ago and said she was making dinner when the fire alarms went off.

"People were knocking on doors saying, ‘you have to leave, you have to leave,’" said Drackley.

First responders checked 92 residents to ensure they were uninjured.

An already large response was beefed up given that the fire unfolded at a 55+ community, where many of the residents who live there have limited mobility.

"That poses a little bit more of a challenge that we have to corral all the people and our goal was to get them all outside until we can keep the fire in check, make sure there was no fire extension, and obviously the smoke is a big condition and we have to make sure that’s cleared before we let anybody back in," said Klotz.

A second resident was also taken to the hospital during the fire, but officials said it was due to an unrelated medical condition.

In addition to the fire-damaged unit, three other units suffered water damage.

Klotz said the complex’s management team was working with the families of those tenants to coordinate temporary living arrangements until the damage is repaired.