(CBS) — A senior citizen from the west side Lawndale neighborhood remains alive after being rescued from his burning apartment by a long-time friend.

The man is reported in critical condition at Mt. Sinai Hospital from the smoke that overcame him before he could be pulled from the burning three-story Greystone at 1662 S. Drake Ave.

Jerrold Robinson says he’s known his 76-year-old friend his entire life. He said he checks in daily to see what he needs and said they often talk for hours.

“I go and sit down with him a lot,” Robinson said.  ‘He gave me a lot of knowledge about life.”

Robinson said he was doing yard work nearby about 2:20 p.m. Thursday when he saw smoke begin to belch from his friend’s apartment.  He drew a deep breath and raced in.

Fortunately, his friend was on the other side of the entry door. The man’s pants leg became caught in the door and it took several tries but Robinson was able to free him, and with the help of his sister, move him away from the smoke.

He said he found the man unconscious but said the senior came to and told him the fire began on the back porch.

A Chicago Fire Department spokesperson said the cause remains undetermined.

Robinson rejects the label hero — saying it’s what any friend would do.


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