CHICAGO (CBS) — As flames consumed their home Sunday morning, a Humboldt Park family ran to safety in the frigid morning air. All 13 inside survived thanks to family members who risked their own lives to save others, but the fire left them homeless.
As CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports, it was mid-morning when fire gutted the Knox family’s home of 35 years, but emerging from the rubble safe is reason to be thankful.
“I am blessed and I know I am blessed, ” says 79 year old Mary Knox.
The fire started around 8:30 a.m. in the Knox family home at 906 N. Trumbull Ave. It was out by shortly after 9 a.m., according to the Fire Department
Wheelchair-bound, Knox huddled with four generations of her family aboard a CTA warming bus after the fire.
The family called Knox’s 25-year-old granddaughter a hero, but Karen Knox said she doesn’t see it that way. She was jarred awake by the flames. She chose to ignore the smoke filling her home and ran straight to her grandmother’s side, waking cousins and uncles to help.
“She grabbed me out of the wheelchair and rolled me out of the house,” Mary Knox said.
“I actually picked her up and put her in the wheelchair and me and my cousin brought her out the back door,” said Karen Knox.
Late in the morning, with temperatures still below freezing, firefighters were returning to battle hotspots and church members were consoling their friends.
“It doesn’t even hurt me cause I know God will take care of me where-ever I am at, because he has his arms around me,” said Mary Knox.
“That’s my heart, that’s my heart,” said Karen Knox, in tears as she looked at her grandmother.
The cause of the fire was still under investigation Sunday afternoon. The Red Cross was helping the Knox family find emergency housing.
Although they owned the home, the family did not have fire insurance.