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At 5:04 a.m., on Jan. 23, Evanston fire companies responded to the 1300 block of Oakton Street after receiving a report of a structure fire in a two-unit apartment building.

First-arriving companies encountered heavy smoke and fire coming from the rear of the building with reports of a victim inside, said Division Chief Paul Polep in a prepared statement. Fire crews forced entry to find heavy fire conditions on the third floor. Fire crews quickly extinguished the fire, and then found a 65-year-old victim on the third floor in a bedroom adjacent to the fire room. The victim was removed from the structure and transported to Presence Saint Francis Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

All residents from the first unit were outside the building upon arrival of fire crews, stating the smoke detectors alerted them to the fire, said the Division Chief.

The alarm was upgraded to a MABAS Box Alarm, 1st level, bringing in other communities to assist Evanston with manpower and station coverage. 

There was one firefighter injured during the blaze. He was transported to Evanston Hospital and released.

The cause of the fire still remains under investigation, said Division Chief Polep.