A resident wants to thank first responders for their support, after police and firefighters responded to a fire that broke out at 1020 Desplaines at about 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 17.

A woman told police she was cooking frozen macaroni when her microwave started to spark, and lit a nearby wall on fire, according to the report. 

Kathryn Pulieani, 75, said the fire on the third floor set off alarms throughout the entire, four floor building. She said no one was injured, but the woman whose microwave exploded was transported to the hospital for an unrelated medical emergency. 

“We didn’t even hear the alarm, but we heard a slight sound on our door. We’re on the fourth floor, the top floor, and the police and firefighters were here, banging on the doors, [saying], ‘Get out, get out,'” Pulieani said.

She said firefighters helped her husband Richard, who uses a walker, navigate down four flights of stairs and out the door, where the couple waited in their car in the parking lot. After the fire was contained to the apartment, residents returned to the building, where they waited on the bottom floor.

“It was just everybody together, it was pets and everything. It was unbelievable, like a party in there. Everybody was talking to everybody, the police and firemen were wonderful,” she said.

Firefighters and police fetched medication from apartments for residents, she said. Karen Dylewski, head of the Howard Mohr Community Center, passed out water bottles to residents who were waiting. “She asked everyone if there was anything they needed, and came in and hugged everybody. It was wonderful, she’s a great person,” Pulieani said.

At about 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 18, residents were able to return to their apartments, she said. Pulieani said only the apartment that caught on fire was damaged, and called the building a “senior building” with 60 apartments.

Nona Tepper