Fire trucks and engines responding to a fire in a high-rise building in downtown Evanston. Photo from Evanston Fire Department

On Saturday, March 7, at 7:15 p.m., the Evanston Fire Department responded to a call at 1630 Chicago Ave., for a reported apartment fire on the eleventh floor of a multi-family high-rise building. When Engine 21 arrived on scene at the large, multiple unit residence, they heard audible alarms and saw residents evacuating the premises.

As Evanston fire crews made their way to the eleventh floor, they encountered a smoke-filled hallway. Crews then identified the apartment where the fire was located. After entering the room, the firefighters noted that multiple sprinkler heads were activated, keeping the fire in check, allowing fire companies to extinguish the remaining fire.

The affected apartment suffered significant smoke and water damage, but due to the sprinkler system and the quick response of the Evanston Fire Department and other agencies, there was very minimal damage to any other part of the building. There were several other units that encountered water damage causing some displacement of residents.

The Evanston Fire Department utilized the MABAS BOX card system, bringing in several communities to assist with the fire. There were no reported civilian or firefighter injuries, and the cause of the fire still remains under investigation with no foul play expected.

For more information, contact Deputy Chief Paul Polep at