Rogers Park fire leaves eight homeless

Eight people were left homeless early Monday morning, when a fire swept through the building at 7068 N. Clark Street.Fire officials on the scene said the call came in at 2:09 am. By the time they arrived, people living in the apartment above the fire had 'self-evacuated.'

It appears the fire originated in Rosa's Flowers and Gifts, a business on the first floor of the building. The Seraphim and Cherubim Church also occupies the property.

One fireman told me the flower shop was 'filled with stuffed animals.'A man who lives in the basement of the church said, 'I woke up with smoke all in my nose, I couldn't breathe. It was very thick. I crawled to the door and got out.'

A resident of a nearby building said he stepped out around 2 am and 'you could see the fire roaring out the back.'

Though the south side of the building which houses the church didn't look too badly damaged, fire officials would not let anyone back inside. They did accompany the man who lived in the basement so he could retrieve his cell phone. Without it, he said, 'I couldn't contact anybody.'

Department of Human Services personnel arrived with a van and contacted the Red Cross to secure emergency housing for the victims.

The cause of the fire is unknown. The Fire Departmement is investigating.