Firefighter Injured Battling Lincoln Park Blaze

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago firefighter was injured Tuesday morning while helping extinguish a blaze that damaged three apartment buildings in Lincoln Park.

Flames shot through the roof of a four-story apartment building at 425 W. St. James Pl. around 2:30 a.m. Investigators believe a grill on the rooftop deck sparked the blaze.

People in the building next door described their frightening wake-up call.

Justin Daly and Stephanie Staudohar were asleep in the building next door when they heard the noise from the fire, and at first thought it was a thunderstorm.

“I heard something outside, and I just looked out the window, and it was like bright orange, and ashes falling down. So I woke her up and said ‘I think there’s a fire,’” Justin Daly said.

Staudohar said, a few seconds later, firefighters were knocking on their door, telling them to evacuate.

Chicago Fire Department Deputy District Chief John Shehan said the building where the fire started had smoke and water damage to all units. The blaze apparently started on the roof.

Flames appeared to consume the top part of the building, and later spread to the buildings on each side.

Firefighters attacked the blaze from the ground, as dozens of tenants sat nearby with their pets.

“Our downstairs neighbor, they have dogs, so we were really trying to make sure that, if they were home or waking them up, because I knew they had a dog, and I know some of the other residents nearby have dogs, too. So I’m glad that everyone got out safe,” Tegan Knudtson said.

While no residents were hurt, crews could be seen wheeling a female firefighter into an ambulance. Officials said she was conscious, and suffered non-life-threatening injuries related to exhaustion. She was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment.

The fire was extinguished by about 3:45 a.m., but crews returned to the scene a few hours later after reports of a flare-up.

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