South Shore high rise fire that injured 7 caused by unattended cooking, CFD says

ByChristian Piekos and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, February 22, 2024
South Shore high rise fire caused by unattended cooking
Residents of a South Shore high rise building are putting their lives back together after a fire caused by unattended cooking broke out Wednesday afternoon.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Unattended cooking was behind the fire at a South Shore high rise apartment building that injured seven people, including a baby, the Chicago Fire Department said.

The fire broke out near West 71st Street and South Jeffery Boulevard in the kitchen of a second floor unit Wednesday afternoon.

It spread to other second-floor units and smoke spread to several floors above the second floor.

Seven people were taken to hospitals. An infant was taken to Comer Children's Hospital in critical condition. All had either been released or had non-life threatening injuries, CFD said.

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

Displaced residents are left with nothing but the clothes on their back and are wondering what's next.

Resident Orlando Montgomery said he slept in his car.

"I slept in the car by myself all night. The police was out here and they added protection," he said.

Already living with burns from a previous fire, Montgomery said his family's future is now uncertain after he escaped this blaze with his wife and 12-year-old son.

His wife was hospitalized for smoke inhalation. He said he hasn't seen her since she was taken in.

"Plan now is just trying to make sure when she gets out of the hospital, she has somewhere to go and I have somewhere to go and my son has somewhere to go," he said.

The Red Cross was on hand Thursday as weary residents gathered outside the building, looking for answers and much needed help.

"Red Cross volunteers were on scene last night and continue working today to secure a safe place to stay for those displaced. Additionally, Red Cross volunteers will be on hand later today providing health, mental health, and spiritual care services," the agency said in a statement.

Jasmine Jameson said two of her children were rushed to the hospital after the fire, but were released Thursday morning. She said she is just thankful they are going to be OK.

"We got burns, a couple of burns, we got blisters, but for the most part we have our life," she said.