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Cops probe burglary at apartment building that caught fire

Naperville firefighters work at the scene of a fire at an apartment building on Fairway Drive in Naperville Friday afternoon. | Bill Bird~Sun-Times Media

Naperville firefighters work at the scene of a fire at an apartment building on Fairway Drive in Naperville Friday afternoon. | Bill Bird~Sun-Times Media

Insult has apparently been added to injury for a tenant of an apartment complex on Naperville’s far northwest side.

While no one was physically hurt, six of the 12 units in that resident’s building were declared uninhabitable following the fire Friday afternoon at 1465 Fairway Drive. The building is part of the Addison of Naperville apartments, in the Country Lakes area of the city northwest of North Aurora Road and Route 59.

A Naperville police bulletin issued about three hours after the fire was put out stated police were sent to the building to investigate a “cold” burglary to a second-floor apartment there. Police Sgt. Bill Davis on Monday confirmed the bulletin’s accuracy.

Davis said Naperville Fire Department firefighters during the blaze “made entry into all of the apartments, to check for occupants and extent of the fire.” They had to force open the front door to the unit in question, which proved to be unoccupied, Davis said via e-mail.

“The resident later came home and reported some items missing from the apartment,” Davis said. “It is possible that someone may have entered the apartment through the front door” after firefighters had completed their search for potential victims, he said.

Firefighters “turned (the) scene security over to property management after they cleared,” Davis said. He did not know what was taken from the apartment, as the formal police report concerning the burglary “is still under review and not complete at this time.”

Davis said fire department investigators are continuing to seek the source and cause of the blaze. He added they “did not report anything about it being an arson to the police department” on Friday night.

Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis said Monday the fire appeared to have been caused by an electrical malfunction in or near the lint trap of a clothes dryer on the second floor of the building. The fire then spread upward to the third floor, he said.

The three-story apartment building sustained more than $250,000 worth of fire, smoke and water damage from the blaze. Smoke was seen wafting from the center and far eastern parts of the rooftop shortly after 2 p.m., as rescuers were arriving on the scene.

Bureau Chief Mark Ziemnik said firefighters found flames in the attic and walls of the second and third floors. It took about 20 minutes to extinguish the blaze, Ziemnik said.

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