CHICAGO (CBS) — Some city workers in Chicago Heights rushed into a burning home Wednesday morning to help residents get to safety.

The fire broke out at 309 16th St. in Chicago Heights, a stately old home that was once a maternity hospital in the 1940s.

Clarence Henderson, who lives across the street, said city workers who saw the smoke rushed inside to get people out.

“When they came out, I seen smoke. It was a lot of smoke, and fire, flame, and whatever there. So I immediately ran across the street, and there I seen Mr. Miller. He was laying on the porch. He was burnt pretty bad,” Henderson said

The city workers rushed into the burning home and helped 88-year-old Tyree Miller out.

Miller’s son says if the city workers had not happened by the scene, “it would have been a tragedy.”

The son, Tyree Miller Jr., suffered less serious burns and the elder Miller’s girlfriend, Chong Barnes, suffered smoke-inhalation.

Miller’s other son, Curtis, who was not in the home when the fire broke out, stood across the street, saying, “a big thank you, man, I appreciate it. Thank God they were passing by at the time.”

Curtis Miller said his father suffered burns over fifty percent of his body and he said he was in good spirits at Loyola University Medical center, where he was being treated.

He said, “I think he’ll make it through.”

He said a space heater had been left too close to drapes in his father’s bedroom and that started the fire.

The stately columned home was built in 1912 and was the only one on the block at that time.

In the 1940s it was used as a maternity hospital.

It was extensively damaged by the fire.