CHICAGO — Two people were hospitalized and a home was damaged in a fire Thursday on Chicago’s North Side.
Firefighters responded to a home in the 5800 block of North Oriole in Norwood Park around 2:15 p.m. Thursday.
The Chicago Fire Department said two adults were taken to the hospital in serious to critical condition due to smoke inhalation.
Neighbors identified the couple as a husband and wife. Neighbors also said the man was able to get out of the home and attempted to go back in to help his wife.
Fire officials said the house had a large amount of debris and that may have contributed to the blaze. It also made it difficult for the couple to get out of the home.
Christina Keller identified the injured couple as Anne and Tom Kawasaki. Both were transferred to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.
Keller, who is the couple’s niece, says her aunt Anne had just recently returned home from the hospital.
“She had some medical problems. She was in the hospital for about six months,” she said. “She was getting stronger. She wasn’t in a wheelchair, she was just using a walker.”
Keller adds that couple has lived in the home for more than 40 years. Tom Kawasaki, Keller says, was loved by the community.
“He’s just a great guy,” Keller said. “Helps his neighbors. Cares about people. He’s been in the neighborhood for so long.”
This is a developing story. Check back for details.