Extra-alarm building fire in Gresham injures 2 firefighters

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Two Chicago firefighters were injured during a fire on the city’s South Side.

The fire started inside a vacant home located at 8806 S. Parnell around 4 a.m. in the Gresham neighborhood.

The firefighters were in front of the building, when the porch roof collapsed above them.

That pushed them through the floor of the porch and into the basement.

A mayday call went out and other firefighters were able to get the two department veterans out of a side window.

Both firemen suffered minor leg and back injuries, but they’re expected to be out of the hospital later in the morning.

“We’re fortunate due to the fact that the structure was on fire, that they weren’t pinned underneath burning rubble,” said Deputy Fire Commissioner John McNicholas.  “When I say fortunate, they could have been severely burned, but they were not.”

The fire did spread to the building next door, but the flames are now out.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but fire officials say squatters may have started it.

“When I woke up and came to the window, the whole front of the house was just burning.  Nothing but flames,” said neighbor Ericka Lee.  “Everything just happened so fast.”


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