Man Dead; 2 Firefighters Hurt in West Side Blaze

One firefighter suffers heat exhaustion; another a knee injury

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    No working smoke detectors were found in a home where an overnight fire claimed the life of an elderly man and injured two firefighters in the West Side's Austin neighborhood.

    A still-and-box alarm and a precautionary EMS plan I -- which automatically sends five ambulances to the scene -- were called for the fire in a two-and-a-half story building at 836 N. Parkside Ave., Fire Media Affairs Chief Joe Roccasalva said.

    By the time crews put it out, the flames had raged through the entire back of the home and the attic -- rendering it a tear-down.  The body of Jerry Jones, 84, was found inside a second-floor bedroom.

    Jones was pronounced dead at 3 a.m. at Mount Sinai from apparent smoke inhalation, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

    Two firefighters were taken to Rush University Medical Center in good condition, Roccasalva said. One firefighter was being treated for heat exhaustion while the other suffered a knee injury.

    The alarm was called shortly before 1 a.m., according to unconfirmed dispatch reports. The EMS plan I was called as a precaution, and the blaze was put out at 2:32 a.m., Roccasalva said.

    Firefighters were in the neighborhood handing out smoke detectors Sunday morning because none were found working inside the home,  according to Roccasalva, who said did not know the cause of the fire.

    Officials are investigating the fire’s cause early Sunday.