Infant among at least 7 injured in fire at South Shore high-rise building, CFD says

ByLiz Nagy, Leah Hope, and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Infant among 7 injured in South Side high-rise fire
For those trying to escape a South Shore high rise as it filled with smoke during a fire, it was a harrowing and terrifiyng experience. Seven people were hurt, including a baby.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- At least seven people were injured in a high-rise fire on the city's South Side Wednesday afternoon.

The fire broke out at a high-rise in the South Shore neighborhood, near West 71st Street and South Jeffery Boulevard. The fire started in the kitchen of a second-floor unit. It has been put out, Chicago fire officials said.

The fire also spread to other second-floor units and smoke spread to several floors above the second floor.

Chicago fire officials said seven people have been transported to hospitals. An infant was taken to Comer Children's Hospital in critical condition.

The Chicago Fire Department provided an update on a South Shore high-rise fire Wednesday evening on South Jeffery Boulevard.

Panicked and desperate to escape the fire, people inside dangled out of high-story windows.

"I was about to jump. I put my legs out the window. I screamed help to all the people that was down here," said Tensha Griggs.

Trapped between a 120-foot fall to the pavement and thick black smoke filling her 12th story apartment, Griggs and dozens of her neighbors scrambled through the hallways, desperate for another way out.

"Everything in the hallway, it was so hot. All the metal was hot and charred so I couldn't touch it," Griggs said.

She'd sent her shoeless and still sleeping children down in the elevator with a neighbor, hoping they'd make it out faster.

"Once I started from the 12th I tried to go down as quickly as I could and the elevator just kept stopping," said Nakia Walls. "I had two of the smallest ones in my arms and my son, one by one, helping them."

"The elevator wouldn't work and we ran out but we couldn't because it was fire all in the building," said Amir Walls.

One of the injured people had jumped out of a window from the fourth floor and is in fair condition, CFD said. The conditions of the other people who were injured were not immediately known.

Chopper 7 was over the scene as a massive response from the Chicago Fire Department could be seen. About 10-12 ambulances and 155 firefighters were called to the scene for an EMS Plan 2.

It was not immediately known what caused the fire.