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Man Killed In River Forest Fire

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A man was killed Sunday afternoon in a fire that gutted a home in west suburban River Forest.

The fire tore through a multi-family home in the 500 block of Park Avenue shortly before 2:30 p.m.

River Forest Fire Department officials said the fire apparently started in the basement.

Firefighters arrived at the home within a minute, as the fire station is just a block away.

The family who lives on the main floor got out after smelling the smoke, but the man living in the basement didn't make it out.

"We did search and rescue on all three floors. Unfortunately, we did have a fire victim that perished in the fire," River Forest Fire Chief James Eggert said.

The man who died was found on the stairs of a cluttered basement, according to Eggert. The victim's name and age have not yet been released.

"I know he was kind of like a handyman. I think he would take care of things," neighbor Kathleen Kashima said. "It's really sad for the people who live there, but at least it didn't spread to the rest of our community."

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

"The investigation is going to show us if there's any ignition sources that are unusual, or anything else that's out there," Eggert said.

The chief said he doesn't believe the basement had working smoke detectors.

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