Police Officer Injured In 'Smoking-Related' Apartment Fire

Early reports indicate the fire was started by a man on oxygen who was smoking

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCChicago.com

    A Chicago police officer and a man in his 60s were injured early Friday in a fire that briefly displaced some residents in a seven-story apartment building.

    The fire started around 3:30 a.m. in a fourth-floor apartment on the 2900 block of West Harrison, officials said. Though the cause of the blaze remains under investigation, early reports indicate a man in his 60s aided by oxygen was smoking when the fire began.

    "It appears smoking related," District 1 Deputy Chief Steve Chikerotis said. "We're still doing an investigation, but they're pretty confident in this early decision that it appears to be discarded smoking materials."

    A frantic scene ensued with firefighters knocking on residents' doors to get them out of the building.

    The blaze was struck just before 4 a.m. The man living in the apartment where the fire started suffered smoke inhalation and was transported to a nearby hospital in critical condition.

    A 31-year-old police officer who helped the man out of the building also was transported, in good condition.

    His home was deemed unlivable but other residents were allowed to return to their apartments.