Fire Media Affairs

Crews Battle 3-Alarm Fire In South Chicago

September 07, 2018 - 8:45 am

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Six people, including two children and a firefighter, were taken to hospitals after crews rescued dozens of residents from a three-alarm fire Friday morning in the South Chicago neighborhood on the South Side.

The fire was first reported just after 6:30 a.m. at the three-story building in the 7900 block of South Phillips, according to Chicago Fire Department Cmdr. Frank Velez. Firefighters arrived to see residents hanging out the windows and used ladders to rescue at least 24 people.

Fire Media Affairs

Investigators said the cause of a fire was suspicious. They’re looking at arson. 

"Most of the people were removed via ladder," said First Deputy Fire Commissioner Richard C. Ford II.

The fire started in a second floor apartment, he said, adding, "the cause was suspicious."

Residents were taken to a McDonald’s across the street, which the fire department used as a shelter and patient triage center, Velez said. Five residents, two of them children, were taken to hospitals. One child was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in serious to critical condition to be treated for smoke inhalation. The other child and three adults were taken to hospitals for evaluation.

About 50 people live on the second and third floors above storefronts.

Demetrius Simpson was among those rescued.

"I heard screaming we was on fire," he said. "I was trying to get the hell out that window, I was scared."

A mayday call went out when a firefighter became disoriented, but he was quickly located and taken to a hospital for evaluation, Velez said. He was in good condition.

Another 43 people refused medical treatment at the scene, Velez said.

As of 9 a.m., the fire had been put out and crews remained on the scene to monitor hot spots, according to Velez. The cause remained under investigation and the department’s Office of Fire Investigation was at the building.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire & Chicago Sun-Times 2018. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)