3 firefighters injured in South Side blaze

August 25, 2011 (CHICAGO)

One of the firefighters, a 32-year-old, is in critical condition while another is in serious condition. The third is in fair condition. Their names have not been released.

The fire started about 7 o'clock Thursday evening at a one and a half story home located at 7032 South Justine.

It happened about 20 minutes into the firefight, as crews were starting to get the upper hand.

"The fire lit up. They were attacking the fire. They were moving in on the fire. They were on the second floor...when this thing lit up on them," said Commissioner Robert Hoff, Chicago Fire Department.

Two firefighters -- one of them a captain -- sustained serious burns to the face. A third firefighter suffered exhaustion.

"I'm not a doctor at this time, but I feel confident enough to say that the firefighter in critical condition is going to pull through. I'd ask everybody to keep them in their prayers," said Hoff.

Deandre Ford, 12, shot video of the fire which shows flames consuming much of the home's attic and roof.

"As it got bigger, I started videotaping. It got real big and then the fire department came," said Ford.

"It got too bad...one they had to carry out on a stretcher. The other was overcome and they pulled him out. He was looking kind of bad," said Debra Collins, witness.

The family that lives was home at the time of the blaze. Neighbors say the mother, her two daughters and two granddaughters were sitting in the living room, unaware their home was on fire until a neighbor ran in to warn them.

"I just ran in the house and told them to get out, and that's when I called 911," said D'Antoinette Carter, witness.

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