Old Irving Park fire: Man, 85, and woman, 78, found dead after home engulfed in flames, CFD says

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A man and woman were found dead Thursday night at a house fire in Chicago's Northwest Side Old Irving Park neighborhood.

The pair were found dead after a fire engulfed a home in the 4200-block of North Kildare Avenue about 9:20 p.m., Chicago police said.

Witnesses said the fire got intense quickly. An 85-year-old man and a 78-year-old woman were found inside the home and pronounced dead at the scene.

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"It was very intense; the heat was pushing everybody back," Chicago Fire Deputy District Chief Brian McKermitt said. "A truck and a squad were making an intense push to get in there to search. When they did finally get the fire under control ... they were able to get in and do a search of the area, and they found the victims."

A 61-year-old woman who was also inside got out unharmed.

Later Friday morning, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office identified the two as Carol and Robert Szalacha.

Chicago fire officials said supplemental oxygen was found to be a contributing factor in the blaze.

Chicago fire officials planned to distribute smoke detectors and fire safety information in the neighborhood Friday.
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