A 43-year-old man was trapped on the passenger's side in the 7800-block of South Kenwood.
Crews were able to pull him to safety. He's in critical condition at University of Chicago Medical Center.
Police think the car's engine may have caught fire, although the official cause has not yet been determined.
When firefighters got to the scene, they said they heard what sounded like gunfire so worked to knock the fire down from across the street.
"He couldn't have taken much more smoke or he would have passed," said Lt. Timothy O'Toole, Chicago Fire Dept. Engine 72.