Chicago police responded to a reported fire at an apartment complex in the 5200-block of West 64th Place about 2:10 a.m. When they arrived at the complex near Midway airport, they found three people injured.
A 57-year old-man was transported Holy Cross Hospital initially in serious condition; a 60-year-old woman was also transported to Holy Cross in critical condition; and a 41-year-old woman was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in serious condition.
The women were later pronounced deceased, officials said.
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"I just saw smoke coming out of the window, and in the beginning I thought 'I hope everyone made it out alright,' but we saw the fireman pull out the two ladies, and I was like 'they take them to the hospital; they will be ok, nothing bad happened,'" neighbor Marco Merino said. "But, this morning, I learned they passed away. It does break my heart."
The Cook County medical examiner's office later identified the women as Judy Austin, 60, and April Tadla, 41.
The cause and circumstances surrounding the fire were not immediately known, but an investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.
Chicago fire officials came back later Thursday morning to canvas the neighborhood and hand out smoke detectors to residents.