Englewood fire injures 4 including Chicago police officer; residents jump to escape blaze

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Four people, including a Chicago police officer, were injured in an apartment building fire in the Englewood neighborhood Thursday night, with several people jumping to escape the flames.

The fire started in a building in the 6400-block of South Morgan Street at about 8 p.m.

"When I arrived on scene, we had three people hanging from windows. We had fire on the first and second floor, heavy fire. At that time, the people did jump," said CFD Chief Thomas Carbonneau.

A woman inside said she was cooking when she heard a loud explosion. She wasn't sure if it came from inside or outside but almost instantly her kitchen and apartment filled with thick black smoke.

Another woman was on Facetime with friends when the fire started.

"In the midst of a conversation, she just started screaming 'Oh my God! Oh my God!' We didn't know what was going on until she said, 'My house is on fire.' We were like 'what?' But we started seeing the smoke. We were all panicking. We had to come see," said Shanice Davis, a friend of a building resident.

Other witnesses on the street saw the smoke pouring from the roof and came over to help. When they arrived the saw people hanging out of the apartment window, shouting for help.

Some of them went around back to try to get into the building, witness Keith Harris said, but couldn't because that's where the fire started. Harris said he and other good Samaritans were telling the residents to hold on when the others came back with garbage cans for the residents to jump into.

"That was before firefighters even got there," Harris said. Two men ages, 62 and 52, were transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center in critical condition with smoke and burn injuries, fire officials said.

A woman was also transported to the hospital with a leg fracture. A Chicago police officer was transported in good condition and treated for smoke inhalation.

Firefighters continued to put out hot spots overnight. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.