On Sunday June 16, 2013 a private commercial fire alarm was received from an apartment building located at 1645 N. Calhoun Street. Engine 13 and Truck 16 were dispatched at 0430 to investigate the historic former Frederick Douglas High School building that had since been converted into about 100 apartments.
After a short time investigating they found some smoke coming from a second floor apartment and requested the rest of the box assignment to location at 0444. A working fire was declared 7 minutes later. Residents were evacuated from the immediate area as smoke filled the building. Some residents were sheltered in place on the far side of the large block-square 3-story former school building.
As they gained headway on the fire they found it had gotten into a large void space above the ceiling and had burned through the roof in that area. A second alarm was sounded at 0500 and a third alarm at 0520 after finding that the fire had also dropped down into the first floor apartment below.
The fire was brought under control in about 90 minutes and investigators were called to determine the cause of the fire.
One resident and one firefighter were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.