Three firefighters and three residents were injured in a Southwest Side house fire Tuesday afternoon.
When firefighters arrived at the scene, they were met with heavy flames coming from the basement of a 1 1/2-story home in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood.
Firefighters first helped one adult and two small children out of the home. All of them were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.
“I saw them gasping for air. They took them straight to the ambulance,” said neighbor Guilberto Guajardo.
Just to be sure everyone was out, at least three firefighters went into the basement. That’s when the flames shot through a vent and surrounded them, and a Mayday was called.
The department’s Rapid Intervention Team, or RIT team, standard on every fire call, then went into action to rescue the three.
The department says had it not been for their gear and the RIT team, there’s a good chance the firefighters may not have survived. Instead, they were rushed to Stroger Hospital with burns on their neck and face area, but they are expected to be OK.