CHICAGO (CBS) — An early morning fire in West Englewood spread to three homes before firefighters put out the flames.
Everyone inside the homes in the 7300 block of South Paulina Street escaped unharmed, but a firefighter was hurt while extinguishing the blaze.
The fire started just after 1 a.m. at a home at 7334 S. Paulina St., and later spread to both neighboring houses.
Police officers evacuated families from their homes. They left wearing pajamas, and carrying whatever belongings they could grab.
One firefighter was injured and carried away on a stretcher.
A woman claimed she called firefighters late Wednesday night, after smelling smoke in her house, but they couldn’t find any flames when they checked the homes. A few hours earlier, the entire home was on fire.
After the fire was extinguished, residents of the three homes went back inside to recover what they could.
More than a dozen people from three different homes were displaced by the fire. Many of them took shelter on a bus, and were receiving assistance from the American Red Cross. Some displaced residents left with relatives, while others stayed on the bus to keep warm until they could find temporary shelter.
“I’m sad, but I’m happy I’m alive, though. That’s all that matters, as long as I’m on this earth to see my son and family again,” Ivory Mayo said.
Homeowner Marie Collins said she expected it would be at least a month before she and her family could return to their home.
“Every electronic I owned is gone. Every room has no windows; holes in walls, floors soaking wet, flooded and everything,” she said.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.