7 hospitalized, including 3 officers, after fire on Chicago's South Side, CFD says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A fire in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood has left seven people injured, including three police officers and a child, on Saturday night.

Hot spots continued to flare Sunday morning at what remains of an apartment building in the 4800 block of South King Drive.

Officials continue to investigate what caused the fire that broke out in the building's basement Saturday just before 10 p.m.
The Chicago Fire Department shared video that showed flames spreading to the building's upstairs.

Three police officers alerted residents in the minutes before firefighters arrived. The officers, who weren't wearing any protective gear, suffered of smoke inhalation along with four other residents, including a 5-year-old boy, according to officials.

"I'm so grateful for the police that ran in that building and knocked on every door," said resident Diana Pierce.

The 63-year-old said she was asleep in their third-floor unit when the officers came to her door.

"Some pieces of the roof were falling on my head and they were aware of it, but they stayed in there still trying to get people out," Pierce said. "I'm convinced I probably would be -- I don't want to say dead, but in the hospital for sure because I was not going to wake up. They were banging on my door and kicking down my door."

Officials said the fire started in the basement, quickly traveling up through the plumbing walls and sending flames shooting into the air.

"They had plenty of water. I was just getting access to the building because of where it's located between two other buildings, had trouble getting access through the windows, on the top of the roof, the sides of the building," said Chicago Fire Chief Dennis Oswald.

The police department said their officers were hospitalized for smoke inhalation, but should make a full recovery.

While the building will have to be demolished, officials said none of the evacuated residents were seriously injured.
Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.