2 dead, 2 injured in South Austin fire

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two people died in a house fire on Chicago's west side Thursday.

Fire officials say a fire broke out in the 5200 block of West Race in the South Austin neighborhood just before 10 a.m.

According to authorities, Arthur "Issac" Davis, 86, and Peggy Davis, 60, died and two others were injured in the blaze.

"Everyone knows my grandfather, he was nice, he always spoke to everyone, everyone always spoke to him," said Candice Davis.

Family members of the victims said they recently had to bury another relative and now tragically they have to bury two more, this after an early-morning fire tore through the home.

Constance Davis lost two loved ones in Thursday's fire, which broke out across the street from her house.

"It's really, really sad. It's really sad," Constance Davis said. "My husband and me ran over and the people were there, but the smoke was so bad we couldn't get in."

The Chicago Fire Department said they got the call about a fire on Race Avenue near Lockwood just before 10 a.m. When crews arrived, they found out there were people trapped inside.

"They went on the first floor and found a victim on the first floor and a victim on the second floor and brought them out," said CFD Dep. District Chief Annette Nance-Holt.

There were five people inside the home when it started. Constance Davis said they were her in-laws.

"There were a total of five people living in the home. So one person was in the basement, he came out on his own before anybody else and then another lady brought out her grandmother on the first floor. Those were the three that came out on their own," said Nance-Holt.

Firefighters helped evacuated two from the building and the three others were able to get out on their own or with help from family and neighbors.

The victim's family says Arthur was wheelchair bound and wasn't able to get out on his own. Peggy was asleep at the time of the fire so firefighters had to go in and help save the two.

"My sister did as much as she could but she could only get my grandma out, the other two were sleeping," Candice Davis said.

"One female that brought her grandmother out, she was assisted by neighbors who helped bring her out to safety," said Nance-Holt.

Chicago fire said four people were taken to nearby hospitals. A 24-year-old woman refused medical attention.

Constance said her brother-in-law and mother-in-law survived, but her father-in-law, Arthur "Issac" Davis and sister-in-law, Peggy Davis both passed away at the hospital. She said both were handicapped.

"Just pray for them, you know, I believe in God for them being okay so, you know, it's just sad," said Constance.

Constance called her father-in-law Isaac. The medical examiner identified him as Arthur. Family said he went by both.

"My family been here for over 60 years. Me and my uncles, my cousins, all of us grew up here. Generations of people that grew up here," said Candice Davis.

Constance said she thought the fire may have started after her brother-in-law suffered a seizure while smoking in the basement.

The fire department confirmed the flames originally started in the basement, but said they were still investigating.
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