CHICAGO (STMW) — A firefighter and two Chicago police officers suffered minor injuries as an extra-alarm fire ravaged a South Side apartment building Friday evening.

The fire began just before 4 p.m. in a four-story occupied building at 7957 S. Dobson Ave., Fire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said.

An initial extra alarm was called based upon the conditions of the blaze, while the 3-11 alarm was put in place to get more firefighters out of the building to check on their vitals, Langford said.

One firefighter suffered a minor laceration while battling the fire, while two Chicago cops suffered smoke inhalation injuries, Langford said. All three were taken to University of Chicago Hospital in good condition.

Firefighters had a tough time getting the blaze out due to the day’s warm temperatures combined with the extreme heat of the blaze.
Langford said the heat had “bottled up” and, paired with the humidity, created uncomfortable conditions for both firefighters and police officers at the scene.
Although crews remained at the scene, the fire was safely extinguished just before 7 p.m.

Damage to the building is extensive, Langford said.
Several families who resided in the building were safely taken out and were not injured. Those people will be displaced, Langford said.
The cause of the fire was not immediately clear and remained under investigation. The blaze began in the back of the building, Langford said.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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