Blaze in Edgewater sends 15 to the hospital

Photo by the Chicago Tribune

By Esther Daniela Castillejo

Fifteen people, including several Chicago Fire Department firefighters, were hospitalized after a fire broke in a 4-story apartment building at the Edgewater neighborhood at around 11 a.m. Sunday.

The blaze on the 6100 block of North Kenmore Avenue was put out at about 11:50 a.m., according to officials.

Here is the story from the Chicago Tribune:

A fire in a 4-story apartment building in the Edgewater neighborhood resulted in eight residents, six firefighters and one police officer being hospitalized, according to officials and witnesses on the scene.

The fire on the 6100 block of North Kenmore Avenue on the Far North Side spurred an emergency medical services response which calls for six ambulances to be called to the scene, officials said.

Several children were led out of the apartment building by Good Samaritans who noticed heavy smoke coming from the building at about 11 a.m., according to witnesses. The fire was put out at about 11:50 a.m., officials said.

Ernest Prentic, 24, and his friend Areal Delacruz, 21, were outside of Prentic’s apartment several doors from the building when they saw flames and then heard people screaming.

“When I heard help, help, I ran,” said Prentic, who noticed a lot of smoke coming from the front of the building’s second floor and then saw more smoke coming from the top floors.

“Then there was more smoke coming from the other side of the building, it was just smoke,” said Prentic.

Prentic and Delacruz could also see a man holding “babies” from a second-floor window. They then ran over to the building, scaled a fence and managed to get to the top of an adjoining structure when the man began handing his children to the two. Prentic and Delacruz helped about four children, a woman and finally the man out of the building.

“I couldn’t help everybody out because someone was on the fifth floor and I couldn’t go up there and save them,” said Prentic. “I did what I could, me and my friend.”

Delacruz, who was visiting Prentic, said the children and their mother were in tears. The man rescued from the burning building seemed in shock and frightened.

Delacruz said when he heard the screams of children he knew he had no other choice but to help them get out.

“What was passing through my mind was … When I saw little kids and little babies I had to save them, they were scared,” he said. “When I heard the smoke and heard crying I knew that me and my friend had to run.”

Several people on the scene broke out in applause as a firefighter, seemingly suffering from heat exhaustion, was led into a waiting ambulance, according to witnesses. Several firefighters were being treated for heat related issues, according to witnesses.

Preliminary information from Chicago Fire Department officials indicated that 15 people were injured. The extent of their injures was not immediately known, but officials said all of their conditions had stabilized.


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