EDGEWATER — A nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Syrian refugees throughout the country is reeling Monday after an apartment fire upstairs from their office destroyed their space.
The fire broke out in a second floor apartment at about 8:45 a.m. Monday at 5439 N. Broadway St., according to Chicago Fire Department officials. .
One man was taken to Presence Saint Francis Hospital in an unknown condition and a dog was killed in the blaze, fire officials and witnesses said.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
Witness Maya Atassi said she saw smoke billowing out of the second floor windows Monday morning. Firefighters had to break through two windows and at least three large trucks were on the scene., she said.
The Syrian Community Network, an organization that serves refugees across the country that called the building home, is now trying to pick up the pieces.
Located just below the apartment buildings, the group is dealing with crippling damages. The fire didn’t destroy their office space, but water damage from fighting the fire did, said Suzzane Sahloul, the group’s executive director.
“Everything is destroyed,” she said.
Sahloul pointed to computers, printers, laptops and important files that now need to be replaced. She said the damage will set them back at least two months.
“What is most important is that we find somewhere to continue to serve our refugees,” she said.
Sahloul said she hoped someone in the community might step up to help find a temporary space for Syrian Community Network to continue to operate while insurance claims are filed.
Syrian Community Network’s Chicago chapter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 872-806-0141.