Firefighter falls 20 feet while battling Austin blaze

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A firefighter was injured in a 20-foot fall while battling a blaze at a home on Chicago's West Side. (Chicago Fire Department)

A firefighter was injured in a 20-foot fall while battling a blaze at a home on Chicago's West Side.

Fire crews responded just after midnight to a report of a fire at a two-and-a-half story home in the 4900-block of West Ferdinand Street in the city's Austin neighborhood. When they arrived, flames were seen coming through the roof.

Firefighter Jeff Rich lost his footing and fell about 20 feet from a second-story window to the ground, hitting an air conditioner unit before landing on the concrete, ire Media Affairs Director Larry Langford said. He was immediately assisted by other firefighters and Chicago police officers who witnessed the fall.

He was transported to Stroger Hospital, where he was treated for fractured ribs. his injury was not life-threatening.

Rich's wife was by his side at Stroger, and he is expected to be released today, Langford said. Rich, who joined the department in 2003, is normally assigned to Truck 29 but was on a detail to Engine 117.

Crews extinguished the fire in about 30 minutes. Most of the damage appears to be at the back of the home. Officials said the fire was caused by something electrical.

No one else was hurt.
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