Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

Malgorzata Rostecka, a nurse assistant ,who lives near the apartments in the 2000 block of Hassell Road said she and her 8-year-old daughter were out for a walk when they smelled smoke. She sent her daughter to call 911 and saw beyond an open door a man leaning against a wall in his burning apartment.

She told the man to leave the building, but he couldn’t move. She said the man was having difficulty breathing, couldn’t walk and already had burns on his face and hands. She could recognize that the skin was peeling from his mouth and nose. She helped him out of the burning apartment, as he leaned on her heavily.

Rostecka heard what she described as an explosion in the living room area just as she was getting the man out the door. Hoffman Estates Fire Chief Jeff Jorian said he doesn’t know exactly what she heard but that it’s common for aerosol cans to explode in such heat.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at the two-story building of the Barrington Lakes Apartments about 7:15 p.m. Smoke and flames were blowing out of the first-floor apartment unit, where investigators believe a fire started in the kitchen. The man, who had burns on his face and hands, was transported to St. Alexius Medical Center and later transferred to Loyola.

Hoffman Estates firefighters said the initial damage estimate is $250,000. The building was substantially damaged and was equipped with an automatic fire alarm which activated, but not a sprinkler system. The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Chief Jorian said though this event ended well, it can be dangerous to enter a burning building, and firefighters and paramedics would prefer to have one victim, not two.

thanks Dan

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