Elderly man, 3 firefighters injured in West Side fire that prompted ‘mayday’ call

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CHICAGO — An elderly man and three firefighters were injured in an extra-alarm fire on Chicago’s West Side Monday afternoon.

The fire began around noon in the basement of an elderly couples’ South Austin home before quickly spreading to their neighbor’s house on the 4800 block of W. Van Buren.

After firefighters arrived on the scene, a “mayday” call triggered a massive response to an already bad situation involving more than 100 firefighters. The call was made for a missing firefighter, but was secured shortly after and all firefighters were accounted for.

While an elderly woman in the home where the fire began was able to get out safely, her 85-year-old husband was taken to the hospital after he was pulled out by CFD.

His son Larry Robinson said his health was not good to begin with, but he’s “hopefully” okay after suffering from smoke inhalation.

“I`m glad everybody got out, everybody is safe,” Robinson said.

Three firefighters were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries, and two were released and back at the firehouse Monday evening. The third was released from Stroger and will make full recovery, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

Gregory Hughes says he grew up in the neighboring home that caught fire, where his elderly parents have lived since the early ’60s. Luckily his parents, both in their 80s, were able to get out safely.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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