Smoke from trash chute attracts fire fighters to Marina City
Loop North News

CRIME & SAFETY 300 N State St - MAP

19-Feb-15 – Smoke from a trash chute sent firefighters and numerous Chicago Fire Department vehicles to Marina City on Thursday.

Photo by Bill Edlebeck

(Above) This was all resident Bill Edlebeck saw in the circular 40th floor hallway of Marina City’s west tower at around noon. (Click on images to view larger versions.)

West tower resident Bill Edlebeck says the smoke was “too thick to see through.”

“When I first smelled the smoke I ran around the hallway knocking on and feeling doors for heat,” he said. “By the time I got back to my apartment it was scary difficult to breathe and impossible to see.”

He went out on his 40th floor balcony and called 911 but help was already on the way.

“It’s not like I felt unsafe in the building – Bertrand Goldberg saw to that,” said Edlebeck, referring to the architect of the concrete towers. “Not being able to get hold of anyone in the [building management] office, not knowing if they even know what’s going on up here and to what extent, and knowing that I wouldn’t be able to get to the stairs and down was the unnerving part.”

He said while fire alarms were sounding in the west tower, he was disappointed with the announcements over the building’s public address system. He says, “The building failed at communication.”

Photo by Steven Dahlman

(Above) CFD vehicles parked on North State Street next to Marina City on Thursday.

“Nothing big” is how Chicago Fire Department described the report of smoke on an upper floor. Spokesperson Larry Langford told Loop North News, “All units returned quickly.”

Signs above the trash chutes at Marina City warn residents “not to discard hot coals or burning materials” and that “fines of $500 or more apply.”

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News |

Published 19-Feb-15 6:39 PM

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