CHICAGO (CBS) — 20 people in the Little Village neighborhood are displaced after an early morning, house fire.
Half of them are hospitalized and as CBS 2’s Courtney Gousman reports, the fire is now under investigation as arson.
The second floor apartment belonging to 13-year-old Daniel Mendez and his mother was gutted by an early morning fire. They managed to salvage two garbage bags of clothes.
“Some of it is either wet because of the firemen putting out the fire, it’s either burned or damaged,” said Mendez.
Firefighters believe the fire started in the back stairway.
“My mom like first heard like a bomb or something. Like something exploded and she was going to the window and she saw smoke and flames,” said Mendez.
“We opened the doors and they was saying, ‘get out. Get out! Fire!’ Thank God for those neighbors,” said Christopher Beard.
Six adults and four children taken to hospitals– overwhelmed by smoke.
The Red Cross is assisting families with food, clothing and shelter to get them get by for the next 48 hours.
The fire ignited right across from company number 109’s fire house.
“We had firemen here in a matter of seconds,” said Chicago Fire Dept. District Chief Don Hroma.
The case is now in the hands of the police department’s bomb and arson unit.