CHICAGO (CBS) — A woman who jumped from a burning building in the Rogers Park neighborhood has died, and one other person was injured in the fire.
The fire started around 5:20 a.m. on the rear porches of a four-story apartment building near Clark and Touhy. The flames quickly spread to the interior of the building, according to the Fire Department.
A woman in the building jumped from a window on the top floor before firefighters could reach her. She was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, where she later was pronounced dead. Relatives and the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified her as 51-year-old Maria Silva.
Maria Rios tried to talk Silva out of jumping.
“I see her in the window, and then I say ‘Don’t do it, don’t do it,’ but then she fall down,” she said.
Many others might have died if not for Rios, who ran through the entire 15-unit building, pounding on the doors of every apartment, warning people to get out.
“Screaming, only. I say ‘Get out, get out, it’s on fire,’” she said.
Luis Padilla said Rios saved his life, and those of four of his family members.
“I really want to thank her really much. If she didn’t woke up first, and then woke us up first, then we were just going to suffer inside with all the smoke,” he said.
Humberto Sanchez said he, too, owes his life to Rios, who ran into the burning building while others were running out.
“I want to say that I’m very grateful, because if it wasn’t for her, I probably wouldn’t be able to wake up, because I couldn’t hear the smoke alarms. So I just could hear her voice knocking on the doors, saying ‘There’s a fire, there’s a fire,’” he said.
One other person injured in the fire was taken to Weiss Memorial Hospital in fair to serious condition.
The fire was extinguished by 6:15 a.m.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.