By Meredith Barack

CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Fire Department on Saturday evening was looking into two fatal fires in the city -e each of which left a person dead.

At least one of the fires involved smoke alarms that did not work.

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It’s a common sight after a fatal fire in Chicago — but a critical task.

Firefighters on Saturday were handing out smoke detectors and spreading awareness of their importance. Saturday’s focus was on the city’s South Side in the Brainerd neighborhood.

The nearby charred apartment complex Halsted Street off 94th Street was boarded up late Saturday. Flames ripped through the roof overnight.

One woman was injured and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in serious condition. But the fire was too intense to rescue 75-year-old John Macon, who was trapped inside.

Crews found him unresponsive, and he died.

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“We found out that there was one victim that might possibly be in the building, but we weren’t able to gain access to make a rescue, so unfortunately it ended up being a recovery,” said Deputy District Chief Michael Spencer.

People were seen weeping outside of the complex as firefighters got the flames under control. Macon is now being remembered for his longtime work around the neighborhood and helping others.

“And we had nothing but utmost respect for John and he’s going to be truly missed,” a neighbor said.

Tragedy also struck overnight in Bronzeville. Firefighters rushed to 49th Street and Vincennes Avenue around 10:30 p.m. Friday.

They used a ladder to get to the roof, but the effort was not enough. Benita Frieson, 73, ended up dead.

No one else was hurt.

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The cause of both fires is under investigation.

Meredith Barack