'They just lost everything': At least 1 family displaced by large house fire in Marquette Park

ByLiz Nagy and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, August 29, 2023
At least 1 family displaced by large house fire on SW Side
Chicago fire crews battled a large blaze on South Rockwell Street in the Marquette Park neighborhood.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- At least two families have been impacted by a large house fire that broke out Monday afternoon on the city's Southwest Side.

At least one of those families has been displaced.

Chopper 7 was over the scene in the 6900 block of South Rockwell Street about 5:20 p.m., and large flames and heavy smoke could be seen coming from at least one house in the city's Marquette Park neighborhood.

As flames torched the roof, collapsing a two story home into one near 69th and Rockwell, Chicago firefighters jockeyed to contain what they could, scrambling up the stairs of a neighboring home.

By the time they could douse the blaze, from above and from street level, it had torched the facing wall of the two family duplex.

The crisped walls, broken open by flames and water pressure, were the four bedrooms where Denise Swift Jones and her entire family sleep.

"As an adult, you can tread with some things, but when your kids, your children, they just lost everything. My kids just lost everything," Jones said. "Like, everything was on that side."

Drying her daughter's drenched cheeks is really all she could do. Her children were home, downstairs, when the fire sparked next door.

"I wasn't scared. I was OK," said Msteri Lee.

The mother who lives on the other side of the burning house was too shaken up to show her face on camera. Children alerted her to the fire.

"I was inside my house, heard a lot of hard knocking on my door, screaming, 'Get out! Get out of the house!" one neighbor said.

Thankfully, no injuries have been reported, and at least 11 dogs were rescued from the neighboring duplex.

Still, the boarded home where the fire sparked had been abandoned for years.

Now, at least two families said the fire at the house they've complained to the city about has ruined their homes.

It was not immediately clear how the fire began. By 5:45 p.m., most of the fire was out, and firefighters were chasing hotspots.