Grandmother killed in Hanover Park house fire identified: Neighbors rescue kids

2 firefighters were injured in the blaze, but are expected to be okay, authorities said.

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, October 31, 2022
Neighbors save kids from suburban fire that killed grandma, they say
Neighbors saved kids from a Hanover Park fire killed their grandmother and hurt two firefighters in the 7300 block of Thornwood Street, locals said.

HANOVER PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Authorities have released the identity of a grandmother killed in a Hanover Park house fire on Sunday afternoon.

The victim was identified to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office as Jovencia Valencia, 83.

The fire broke out at about 4 p.m. in the 7300-block of Thornwood Street, Neighbors helped police rescue two young kids from the house, but they said there just wasn't enough time to get to that woman.

"We were working on the car, and we saw the fire, so we run and I said, 'Maybe they're burning leaves,'" said Esther Corredor and Victor Sanchez.

The video in this story is from a previous report

Before fire crews arrived, they sprinted into action.

"We see the smoke coming through the door, so he went and opened the door, and right away, got the kids," Corredor said.

Neighbors said this happened as a grandmother was watching her young grandchildren while their parents were at work. The kids made it out safely without any injuries.

But their grandmother, neighbors say, did not survive.

"I go back to the grandma but I can't open the door... It had a lot of smoke and I could not go in," Sanchez said.

Neighbors described the grandmother as a kind and loving woman who was always around.

Once firefighters arrived, she was found inside the home and pronounced dead on scene.

Two firefighters were hurt while trying to put out the fire, but they're expected to be okay.

The fire chief said the fire likely started by accident, but the cause is still being investigated.