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1 dead, 9 injured in Chicago high-rise fire

By Joe Sutton, CNN
updated 3:34 PM EST, Sun January 8, 2012
A fire broke out Sunday in Chicago on the 12th floor of a high-rise building.
A fire broke out Sunday in Chicago on the 12th floor of a high-rise building.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The fire broke out about 2 a.m. Sunday
  • A 32-year-old woman was found dead in an elevator
  • "It was really, really scary," one resident says

(CNN) -- One person died and nine others, including two firefighters, were injured in a fire early Sunday in a Chicago high-rise, according to the city's fire department.

The body of the 32-year-old resident, who lived on the 12th floor, was found in an open elevator, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.

The elevator had superheated air, which could have been up to 1,000 degrees "at head level where she was," Langford said.

Firefighters received a call just after 2 a.m. Sunday about a fire on the 12th floor of the building. In the apartment where the fire broke out, the resident left the door open hoping their pets would escape, which caused the hallway to fill with smoke and fire, he said.

"It was scary. It was really, really scary," resident John Lapiana, who lives on the 15th floor, told CNN affiliate WLS. "We were sleeping and my girlfriend heard sirens out front, so she woke up and our living room was full of smoke."

The cause of the fire was under investigation, Langford said.

Responding fire crews performed a standard elevator recall, which would have sent all the elevators to the lobby, he said, but the operation failed, requiring firefighters to walk up to the 12th floor with their equipment.

Two firefighters suffered minor injuries while battling the blaze, he said.

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