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Two Men Died In High-Rise Fire After Saving Woman

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Firefighters responded to a high-rise fire on the South Side. (Credit: Chicago Fire Department)

Firefighters responded to a high-rise fire on the South Side. (Credit: Chicago Fire Department)

CHICAGO (CBS) — The two men who died in a South Shore high-rise fire had rescued an elderly woman from the blaze and returned to try to extinguish the flames.

Jameel Johnson, 36, and John Fasula, 50, worked for a cable company and were doing work in the building when the fire erupted on the seventh floor on Tuesday morning.

The two heard a woman screaming, put her in the elevator and sent her down to the lobby. They then took fire extinguishers and tried to put out the fire.

They were found by fire crews and were in cardiac arrest, authorities said. The apparently died of smoke inhalation.

The woman was found collapsed in the lobby of the building and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

The 16-floor building is located at 6730 South Shore Dr.

Fire Department officials said both men were found right outside the condo where the fire started, and they were not burned.

Fasula was married 25 years and worked for the CTA for almost 30 years. Family members said they aren’t the least bit surprised the father of two put others before himself – an act that ultimately cost him his life.

Johnson’s family said the father of two was always leery of high rises.

A truck with a Dish Network emblem belongs to one of the victims. Police moved it away from the scene Tuesday night as fire investigators continued their work at the building.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation Wednesday, but Fire Department officials have said it might have been an electrical fire.