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Man Dead, One Critical After South Side Fire

St. Lawrence Avenue Fire

A man was found dead and another person was left in critical condition in a fire in this home on South St. Lawrence Avenue. (Credit: CBS)

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Updated: 1/13/11 6:09 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – A man was found dead, and a second person was taken to the hospital, in a fire in a Park Manor neighborhood home Wednesday night.

The fire broke out around 8:55 p.m. in a two-story home at 6829 S. St. Lawrence Ave., Fire Media Affairs spokesman Richard Rosado said. Initial reports indicated people were trapped inside the building and the blaze was elevated to a still-and-box alarm response.

Firefighters found flames coming from the basement and first floor and used a ladder to rescue one person from the first floor unit, Rosado said. That person was taken in critical condition to University of Chicago Hospitals.

James Cole, 59, was pronounced dead at the hospital at 9:25 p.m., according to a spokesperson for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

A second person was found dead in the basement of the home, Rosado said. Police said that man was also in his 80s. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office has not been notified of the death as of 11:45 p.m.

The blaze was extinguished at 9:25 p.m., Rosado said.

Police said that in addition to the elderly victims, four people have been left homeless.

As of early Thursday morning, there was no word on the cause of the fire.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.