CHICAGO (CBS) — A 5-year-old girl was killed Friday morning, in a house fire in the Englewood neighborhood.
Chicago Fire Department Battalion Chief Thomas Carbonneau said crews received the first call about the fire at 7 a.m. at a two-flat at 58th and May, and firefighters arrived within four minutes, and immediately began a search of the building.
A 5-year-old girl was found dead on a bunk bed in a first-floor bedroom. Relatives identified her as Kaitlynn Jeffries.
“She was deceased, and she was beyond medical help,” Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.
Relatives said Kaitlynn was a kindergartener at Nicholson STEM Academy.
Carbonneau said finding out a child died in the fire was “Very difficult for all our men.”
“It never gets easier. The more you see, the harder it is sometimes,” he said. “We’ll go back, and talk, and go over what went on here, and make sure everyone’s okay to go back to work, and I’m sure they are. The fire department’s a tough team.”
No working smoke detectors were found on the first floor, although one working smoke detector was found on the second floor.
A man who lives in the building said he tried to go back in to get the girl out, but firefighters would not let him go inside.
“With the volume of fire we had, for us to let somebody else in there is endangering them. So the person told us where they thought the child was, and we went there right away,” Carbonneau said. “We can’t let people in the buildings.”
No one else was injured in the fire. Flames spread to a neighboring home before the fire was extinguished.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.