Woman, son injured in Back of the Yards apartment fire, CFD says

Diane Pathieu Image
Tuesday, December 19, 2023
Woman, son injured in Back of the Yards apartment fire
The Chicago Fire Department battled a Back of the Yards apartment building that injured a woman and her son.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A woman and her son are fighting for their lives after a fire ripped through an apartment building Tuesday morning in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

The fire broke out at about 1:24 a.m. in the 4700-block of Wolcott Avenue.

Flames tore through the apartment approve and quickly spread smoke throughout the building.

Speaking in Spanish, according to the victim's brother, Leticia Reyes, her husband and two children were inside and couldn't get out and when they did the fire was overwhelming.

"I just know that my sister woke up and saw the fire had started, and she tried to get the kids out but the door was locked. Nerves. They couldn't get out but it was all so fast. I think it was fast because the moment the door opened, the smoke, the fire it sparked, and it spread more quickly," he said.

Authorities confirm the 47-year-old woman suffered burns to her body and was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Her brother said she is in intensive care and her 14-year-old son Joshua suffered minor burns and is expected to be OK.

The check-cashing business below is also damaged from the smoke and water and had to close their doors to their customers Tuesday.

"It was really astonishing," store manager Juan Hurtado Arrelanes said. "I didn't think it was going to be this much damage you know in such little time, what does this mean to you guys, no it's going to be a little hard we do have another location a block away we can serve our customers, but some people might be out of a paycheck for a week."

Investigators have now moved in to try and determine a cause.