Chicago fire: 2 die after NW Side apartment fire

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, August 4, 2023
2 die after NW Side apartment fire
A Chicago apartment fire on Monday on the Northwest Side claimed the lives of two people.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Two people have died after an apartment building fire on the Northwest Side Monday morning.

Friday morning, the victims were identified to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office as 45-year-old Ismael Romano and 63-year-old Margarita Romano.

A third person was also injured in the fire that broke out on the third floor of an apartment building in the 2100-block of Marmora Avenue.

Ring camera video from down the street shows flames shooting from the top floor of the building.

A relative said a husband and wife and the wife's brother lived in the apartment.

The Chicago Fire Department said the husband was the first to hear the smoke alarm located on the third floor.

That smoke alarm also alerted Cesar Perez, who was sleeping on the first floor. He quickly got out of the building and called 911.

"I saw the guy coming down the stairs. He's like, 'Help my wife! Help my wife.' I couldn't do anything, can't go into the flames," Perez said. "It was a really bad experience."

Unable to reach his wife, he began going door to door, waking other residents up to escape and suffering from smoke inhalation himself, as a result and potentially saving many lives, a firefighter said.

"I wouldn't be surprised he was the one dragging his whole family out of safety," Cayetano Cornejo, who lives next door, said.

"He loves his wife, so I'm pretty sure he was instantly trying to save her."

Crews found the wife on the floor, collapsed they said, as she tried to escape. Her brother was found in the bed. Both were in cardiac arrest.