Edgerton fire forces dozens of seniors from homes

Edgerton fire forces dozens of seniors from homes

More than 20 seniors have been displaced after a fire burned through the roof of the Edgewood Glen senior living community in Edgerton on Monday.

Investigators said lightning may have hit the building and caused the fire.

Fire crews were called to the 21-unit apartment building at around 6:30 p.m. Monday. When they arrived, they saw smoke and flames coming from the roof.

“I live on the second floor under the window on the roof; I live right below it,” said Ruth Butterfield while looking at what used to be her Edgerton home.

Butterfield and several of her Edgewood Glen neighbors spent Tuesday thinking about the Memorial Day fire that created a gaping hole in the roof of their apartment building.

At the time of the fire Monday evening, the property managers were on vacation and one of the residents was serving as a manager on call.

“There was a big ball of fire shooting out of the roof, that’s when I ran back in and told everybody we have to evacuate, we have to get out right now,” said Butterfield, the manager on call.

Edgerton Fire Department Chief Brian Demrow said the entire building sustained heavy smoke and water damage.

“There’s nothing suspicious about it. We’re looking at the possibility lightning struck the building,” Demrow said.

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Residents were allowed back inside Tuesday to claim some of their belongings.

The fire chief said things could have been much worse.

“In the attic space, there were two fire stops that were built in there to slow the fire down so we could get at it,” Demrow said.

All 23 residents have been accounted for. Most escaped with only what they were wearing.

Property manager Gail Lindsay said the community has rallied around the residents.

“Between the Red Cross, the Edgerton pharmacy, who helped people get medication because they couldn’t get back into the building to get their evening medication,” Lindsay said.

Butterfield was among those who received their medication. She said she plans to stay with her sister temporarily. She said it will be tough to say goodbye to her home of nearly 13 years.

“I’m going to miss living there. I lived there from the day it opened, and I hope they rebuild it if they have to destroy it. For right now, we’ll just have to wait and see,” Butterfield said.

The fire chief said investigators hope to determine the exact cause of the fire in the next few days.

Meanwhile, the property managers are working with residents to get them into other apartments until they determine the next step for the building.