‘Thank you for saving my life’: CPD officer saves man in wheelchair during Englewood fire

Chicago News

CHICAGO – A Chicago police officer noticed a fire Wednesday morning in Englewood and rushed in to save someone who needed help getting out.

At around 9:30 a.m., Chicago fire responded to a two-story home in the 6700 block of South Normal in Englewood. Six tenants were in the house when the fire started.

“I felt the floor getting hotter and hotter,” Joseph Ortiz said. “I stepped out the room, I opened my door, it was full of smoke, the hallway everything was full of smoke. I started seeing flames coming out the bathroom.”

A Chicago police officer happened to be on a call nearby and saw the smoke. He entered the home and ran up to the second floor, picking up Ortiz in his wheelchair and carrying him to safety.

“Just man, thank you, thank you for saving my life,” Ortiz said. “I don’t’ know what would have happened.”

The officer was taken to the hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

The tenants believe the fire started on the first floor and spread. The cause is still under investigation.

The Red Cross was at the scene handing out blankets and toiletries. They are also helping displaced residents find shelter as Christmas approaches.

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“I lost everything, I lost everything. I’m going to have to start back over,” Ortiz said. “Everything will be alright. I’m alive, so everything will be alright.”

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