A 1-year-old child and an 18-year-old man were taken to a hospital after they were among three people rescued from an extra-alarm fire in the Back of the Yards neighborhood Wednesday afternoon.
The fire started about 3:20 p.m. in two residential buildings in the 4400 block of South Honore Street. The fire was raised to a 2-11 alarm, with an emergency medical services Plan 1, sending six ambulances to the scene.
Homes burn in Back of the Yards
Chicago firefighters work at the scene where two homes are burning in the 4400 block of S. Honore St. in the Back of the Yards neighborhood of Chicago. (Abel Uribe, Chicago Tribune)
A 1-year-old child and a male teenager were taken the hospital, said Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford. Several other people were evaluated by paramedics. The teen and both victims were believed in good condition, with the teen going to the hospital with the child to make sure the child was all right, said Fire Department Chief of Special Operations Michael Fox.
The two buildings that caught fire are 2-1/2 story frame homes, at least one of them broken up into apartments. Firefighters had the most trouble extinguishing the fire in the attics of the buildings, officials said. The fire began in the building to the north and spread to the second building, officials said.
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The three rescued were all trapped in an area on the first floor of one of the homes, with fire in front, behind and both sides of them, Fox said.
The fire was under control by about 4:15 p.m.
Dioselina Covia, 56, was taking her children to her car and was talking to a friend when she saw smoke coming up from one of the houses and called 911 as she ran toward the fire, she said.
Covia ran down to the house and started banging on doors and getting children out, as her husband and another man and woman from the block started doing the same.
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Her husband and a man and woman from the block also helped get people out.
The group ran out of the house when they started hearing loud noises, Covia said.
“It began to pound, boom, boom, boom, and we ran out,” Covia said in Spanish.
Tanesha Jones, 32, who rents one of the three apartment in the south building, went to get her four sons and returned to see her home smouldering, with ambulances and firetrucks there surrounding the buildings.
Once Jones found out that everyone made it out alive and were fine, “All I could think about was my homework and my laptop,” which were burned, she said.
Jones said she is “messed up, not too good right now.”
“We’ll take it one day at a time. We have to start from scratch.”
After the fire, most of the windows in both of the homes were broken out, and the tan siding on each building was heavily scorched in several places, especially on the sides of the buildings where only four feet separated the two. Rooms on the second and third floors that were visible from the street appeared heavily damaged by fire.