CHICAGO (STMW) — A man who was working a on car early Sunday smelled smoke and rushed inside a burning home where he rescued a 77-year-old woman and her 5-year-old grandson overnight in the Humboldt Park neighborhood.

The extremely smoky fire erupted about 12:30 a.m. at a 1 1/2-story bungalow in the 4246 W. Haddon St., police said.

A man was working on a car nearby and sprang into action when he smelled the smoke, looked up and noticed the fire at his neighbor’s house.

“He ran down there and was banging on the door,’’ according to a Harrison District lieutenant.

The man forced his way inside the burning home where he found the boy and his grandmother. A 30-year-old man who is the woman’s son had also been in the burning home.
“He kicked the window and cut his leg,’’ the lieutenant said. “He helped the woman out and grabbed the little boy.’’

The woman suffered second degree burns to her face, and the boy and the 30-year-old man suffered smoke inhalation.

All three were taken to Norwegian-American Hospital. Roccasalva said the boy and woman were in “stable” condition.

“He did a good thing,’’ said the lieutenant of the man who rescued them.

The fire at the 1 1/2-story home was elevated to a still-and-box alarm, and later raised to a two-alarm fire when a mayday was called for a firefighter who was unaccounted for, Fire Media Affairs spokesman Joe Roccasalva said.

Police said the firefighter fell through a burning stairwell when it collapsed and was briefly trapped.

“He was down but they found him and pulled him out of the wreckage,’’ the lieutenant said. He was not burned, but just suffered stiffness.

Roccasalva said the firefighter did not suffer any injuries.

The fire was extinguished by 1:15 a.m., and the home sustained extensive damage, Roccasalva said.

A mayday call automatically raises the fire to an extra alarm and prompts an EMS Plan 1 response, which sends at least five ambulances to the scene.

It was not known what started the fire, but the Office of Fire Investigation was on the scene.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Watch & Listen LIVE