CHICAGO (CBS) — One person was killed and two others were injured in a fire early Friday morning in an apartment in the Austin neighborhood.
The fire started around 3 a.m. in a two-story apartment building behind a storefront near Chicago and Lockwood avenues.
The blaze started in a rear first floor apartment, but quickly spread to the second floor, and flames could be seen shooting through the roof.
The apartment building is attached to a run-down storefront business, and firefighters said they had trouble reaching all the rooms.
“There were several rooms there, and it was a lot of personal effects inside that made it difficult for us to get around. Plus there was a significant volume of fire,” Fire Department Deputy District Chief Jack Nagle said.
Firefighters found a woman dead inside. A man, possibly her husband, was found unconscious. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition.
“The male victim was unconscious when we found him. They worked him and got his pulse back. The female victim, again, was DOA,” Nagle said.
A firefighter also was injured. He hurt his back, but was in good condition.
At least 11 people were forced out of their homes because of the fire.
Migdalia Castro had just taken a shower when she saw the flames.
“I’m just glad I’m alive,” she said. “I lost everything, but God is good, and as long as I have him in my life, I’ll be okay.”
The city provided a warming bus for those families, while the American Red Cross was providing assistance finding temporary shelter.
News quickly spread one of their neighbors didn’t make it out alive.
“Annette was one that she always looked out for people, as far as the cooking, everybody in the building. Her husband was wheelchair-bound, and it’s so sad to hear that she died,” Castro said.
The fire was extinguished by 3:50 a.m. Officials said there were no working smoke detectors in the building.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.