CHICAGO (CBS) — Three firefighters were injured Friday morning while working to extinguish a raging blaze in the West Town neighborhood.
The fire started around 1:30 a.m. in the 1100 block of West Grand Avenue, in a two-story building with commercial space on the ground floor and apartments above.
Flames burst out of a top floor window and the roof, spreading to a neighboring four-story apartment building.
Firefighters could be seen assessing the scene from a neighboring balcony. Crews inside the building rotated out every 20 minutes to avoid getting dehydrated and exhausted.
Officials called in a 2-11 alarm to bring in extra firefighters due to the heat. About 125 firefighters in all responded to the scene.
“These are extremely long buildings. The one building with the attached garage, approximately 100 feet, which makes this difficult. That, in addition to the conditions here, the heat, our members, they can’t be in there that long. We have to cycle them in and out,” Fire Department Deputy District Chief Michael Carbone said.
One man who lives in a neighboring building said a police officer pounded on his door to get him out.
“Everyone’s okay that I am aware of. They definitely did a good job of getting everyone out of there real quick,” he said.
The fire was extinguished by about 2:45 a.m.
One firefighter fell at the scene and injured his shoulder. Two others were hospitalized for heat issues. All three were in good condition, according to the Fire Department.
“This gear, it protects us, and it’s good gear. However, when it gets hot like this in this kind of heat, your body gets overheated too fast,” Carbone said.
No one else was injured, but at least seven people who live in the two buildings were unable to return to their apartments. Fire Department officials said all of them had somewhere else to stay.