updated 2/14/2010 4:58:33 PM ET 2010-02-14T21:58:33

Authorities say seven people are dead and others were missing after an early morning blaze swept through an apartment building near Chicago.

Authorities say the fire started at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday at a residential apartment building in Cicero, about 10 miles southwest of Chicago. The fire was extinguished. Its cause was unknown.

Town spokesman Ray Hanania said a passer-by spotted the blaze.

It wasn't immediately known how many people were in the building when the fire started. Authorities have not identified the victims.

Nearly two dozen residents were relocated to a municipal office.

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