Firefighters hurt as burning South Side porch collapses

February 26, 2013 9:09:17 AM PST
Two Chicago firefighters were transported to the hospital Tuesday after they became trapped while battling a blaze at 88th Street and Parnell.

The fire started at approximately 4 a.m. ABC7 Chicago is told the roof of the second floor porch collapsed on the firefighters, pushing them through the floor and trapping them in the basement.

They were pulled to safety through a side window.

The firefighters were taken to Little Company of Mary Hospital in southwest suburban Oak Lawn, Ill., in stable condition. They were being treated for leg and back injuries but were expected to be OK.

"They were both taken to the hospital with minor injuries. It could have been a lot worse. Had we had fire in that basement, things could have been a much different story here," said Chicago Fire Department Deputy Commissioner John McNicholas.

As the fire burned the empty home, it also spread to another home where a family lives. Those residents, two adults and four children, were OK Tuesday but were displaced.

"It was like the whole house just -- windows with fire coming out of it -- and I heard the whistles. I know the whistle means people are injured," said witness Erica Lee.

Although the fire appeared to be extinguished by 5 a.m., it rekindled later Tuesday morning. Several fire trucks remained on the scene hours after the fire started.

Firefighters said squatters might have ignited the blaze, but no official cause of the fire was determined immediately.