:: Monday, December 06, 2004 ::
When Movies Come To Life
Hollywood can never quite match the real thing.
Authorities said the fire started around 6:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. ET) on the 29th floor of the LaSalle National Bank building. The cause of the blaze was not known Monday night.
Jim Rubens, who was working on the 36th floor, said fire crews reached his group and told them to exit down a stairwell in the smoke-filled building.
"All the floors are filled with smoke," Rubens told local reporters, his face and mustache smeared with soot. "The smoke was coming in from the vents."
He said he went down the stairwell with 12 people, with everyone trying to stay as low as possible covering their mouths: "At one point, it was almost impossible to breathe, and they just kept screaming, 'Keep going, keep going.' And everybody kept going."
He said some of his friends remained on the 35th floor.
The fire appeared to be contained to the 29th floor of the largely concrete structure, spreading horizontally across that floor but not to the floors above or below it. Video from the scene showed bright orange flames raging through at least 11 windows, which were blown out and belching smoke.
:: The Squire 10:31 PM :: email this post :: ::