Local

Elderly Man Dies In West Town Fire

Firefighters on the scene of the fire in the 1900 block of West Ohio Street Sunday night. (Credit: Network Video Productions)

Firefighters on the scene of the fire in the 1900 block of West Ohio Street Sunday night. (Credit: Network Video Productions)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – An elderly man died late Sunday night, after he was trapped by a fire at a five-unit apartment building in the West Town neighborhood.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports the fire started around 10:45 p.m. at a 2 ½ story building at 1940 W. Ohio St. When firefighters arrived at the scene, there was no visibility in front of the building, due to heavy smoke.

A dozen people rushed out of the home and a neighboring building to escape the flames and smoke. The neighboring building also was damaged by the blaze.

When firefighters arrived, they immediately learned there was an elderly man trapped on the 2nd floor of the building where the fire started. Firefighters pulled the victim out of the building, but he was pronounced dead less than half an hour later at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the man as 92-year-old Frank Cecola. An autopsy was scheduled for Monday.

A woman also was rushed to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, but was released Monday morning.

The woman’s daughter said she’s thankful for the help of neighbors, who were able to help her mother and her disabled father get out safe.

“I don’t know who the gentleman was, but one of the neighbors came and helped my mom, and they say that he actually lifted my dad and took him out,” Elizabeth Escalante said. “So, I’m very grateful for that, because my dad can’t walk at all.”

Several other people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. A dozen people from the two buildings were displaced by the blaze.

The cause of the fire had not been determined as of Monday morning.