9 injured, including 3 children, in Englewood high-rise fire

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Nine people were hurt, including 3 children, and more than two dozen have been displaced homes by a high-rise fire early Wednesday morning in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood. (WLS)

Nine people were hurt, including 3 children, and more than two dozen have been displaced homes by a high-rise fire early Wednesday morning in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood.

The injured were all transported to the hospital in serious but stable condition, the Chicago Fire Department said. A firefighter was among the injured and he was treated and released for difficulty breathing.

The fire broke out a little after 1 a.m. on the 13th floor of this 21-story building in the 6400-block of South Lowe Avenue, fire officials said.

Investigators have pinpointed the location where the fire started to a single unit on the 13th floor. The sidewalks outside the building were crowded with residents who spilled out of the building after the alarms started going off.

Residents described frantically trying to evacuate the building in the middle of the night.
"I remember the 11th floor, when I was going down because the smoke was too much, even though I had the towel over my face, the smoke was too much," said resident Dorthella Bowens.

The 13th floor had to be cleared and the others who couldn't get out were urged to take cover.

"So the people we attempted to shelter in place, but in an emergency, a lot people are going to want to come out of the building," said Chicago Fire District 5 Chief Rosalyn Jones.

Carmelita Riley started tearing up just thinking about the smoke that filled her 19th floor apartment. Wheelchair bound and without access any working elevators, she said she feared the worst.

"I didn't know what I would have to do I was scared. I didn't know if this was it or what," Riley said.

Many residents fought through the smoke and barreled out of the building.

"There was chaos everywhere people were running back and forth," said Omotayo Oladele, who lives on the 19th floor.

Oladele was carrying his 3-year-old and 8-month-old in his arms.

"People were here and it was freezing cold too, and we had to stay here for almost four hours," Oladele said.

The rest of the residents have been allowed back in the building, but all 31 residents on the 13th floor have been displaced. There was a warming bus on the scene for them to wait in.

The building was cited by the city for doing work on the elevators without a permit.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.
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firechicago fire departmentChicagoEnglewood
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