Female resident dies in Scotia apartment house fire
Updated 5:33 a.m.
SCOTIA A woman was killed in a Thursday night fire at the Scotia apartment building where she lived.
“It’s a tragedy, of course,” Mayor Kris Kastberg said.
Crews were called to the fire at the Ten Broeck Apartments, 11 N. Ten Broeck St., around 8:10 p.m.
At 9:20 p.m., as firefighters from multiple departments continued to douse the smoking building, Kastberg confirmed a female resident of one of the downstairs apartments did not make it out alive. She was not identified.
The mayor said firefighters were unable to get inside her apartment, located in the left rear corner of the building, where the fire appeared to have started.
“They kicked the door in, and it was just too much,” he said.
Everyone else in the building had been accounted for, Kastberg said later in the evening.
A cause had not yet been determined. The building was heavily damaged.
Robert Kirchofer and his wife, Zalaka, were in their first-floor apartment in the building’s right rear corner — one of 14 apartments in the building — when they heard a smoke alarm go off. They exited out the back door.
“My wife called me, and we got the hell out fast,” said Kirchofer, 72, who sat on his neighbor's lawn and watched the smoking building. “We left everything behind.”
Once outside, he said he could see flames shooting out the door.
“The other side of the building got the worst of it,” he said. “Flames were going up the side of the building.”
Kastberg said the American Red Cross was expected to provide assistance to those displaced by the fire. The Kirchofers planned to spend the night with Robert’s sister, who lives in Scotia.