Woman killed in Lansing apartment building fire, survivors describe how they escaped flames

LANSING, Ill. (WLS) -- One person has died and two others were hospitalized after a fire in an apartment building in south suburban Lansing Monday morning.

The fire broke out at around 3 a.m. Monday morning, at an apartment complex near Bernice and Lorenz.

A 49-year-old woman died in the fire, Lansing Fire Dept. Deputy Chief John Grady said in a statement.

Inside, families were desperate to get out, Brian Blaney tossed his 1-year-old daughter out the window to save her, others followed.

"We couldn't get out the doors, we couldn't leave out the back doors so it just so happened my cousin was on his way to work he stays at the building over there he seen it the building on fire he came over here trying to wake people up and get us up," said Blaney.

"He was out here, and I threw the baby out to him. My son jumped out, my girl jumped out and I jumped out after them," Blaney said.

A neighbor woke Jamie Richardson up and he and his family jumped out of the first floor window with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

"I was able to get my nephew and my son out the back door, and I came back in to get my daughter and my girlfriend and try to walk out the front but couldn't. I had to climb out the first floor window," Richardson said.

The fire department said the fire started on the first floor and engulfed all three floors of the building and quickly spread.

Two police officers even jumped in to help rescue residents, officials describe a chaotic scene.

"At first, when we first got here, there was people everywhere from residents of the building to the buildings next to them," said Willian Stubitsch, Lansing Fire Dept. Department Deputy Chief.

The fire department confirmed one person was killed, and several others were transported to the hospital.

Two officers were also treated for smoke inhalation and released.

Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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