CHICAGO (CBS) — Three firefighters and one civilian were injured Monday afternoon when a house went up in flames in the South Austin neighborhood.

The fire started around 11:45 a.m. at a 1 1/2-story home in the 4800 block of West Van Buren Street.

Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said, after crews arrived, there was what is commonly known as a “flashover” inside the house, briefly trapping three firefighters. That prompted the Fire Department to raise the alarm to 2-11, bringing in extra crews and firefighting vehicles.

“There was a mayday call. This brings an immediate escalation of the alarm,” he said. “Rescue crews, they were able to locate the fire personnel quickly, and get them out.”


Langford said the firefighters suffered minor burns.

“One is going to Stroger Hospital. Two are going to West Suburban Hospital,” he said. “The burns are not critical, and they are not life-threatening.”

Firefighters also rescued an 85-year-old man who was trapped in the home. He was taken to Loretto Hospital for treatment. As of early Monday evening, he was in stable condition.

“I could never be proud enough of these guys,” Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago said. “It really gets us. There’s a moment when you sit down, you start to realize, we just dodged one — very, very close.”

The fire was struck out around 1:45 p.m.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.