CHICAGO (CBS) — A fire in the West Pullman neighborhood injured seven people; including two firefighters, a police officer, and two children who jumped from a window to reach safety.
WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports the fire at 11611 had a head start before all the residents were able to get out.
The fire started around 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Bernard Jones said he and others across the street from the two-flat said had to yell at those in front of and inside the home that the building was on fire.
Two children inside moved to a side window to try to escape smoke. Jones said six people ran from a gas station across the street and gathered beneath the window to catch the two kids.
“We made a semicircle, and everybody just outstretched their arms, and he kicked off from the wall. We caught the first one. The other one, the older one, was a little hesitant, and we were like, ‘Man, you gotta let it go,’ so he just went on and jumped,” Jones said.
One more person, an older man, was trapped on the second floor. Some of those who caught the children tried to get inside to rescue him, but were turned back by flames and heavy smoke. Police and firefighters also had to turn back from the smoke and flames, but firefighters were able to use a ladder to get to the man and rescue him from the fire.
That rescue accounted for most of the injuries, which were largely caused by smoke inhalation. None of the injuries was considered life-threatening.
Officials said a drop ceiling on the first floor gave the flames a quick pathway to spread.