Woman Killed in Englewood House Fire

People wer evacuating home via windows as fire crews arrived

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCChicago.com

    A woman was killed and her husband of several decades was injured after fire tore through the couple's Englewood home Monday afternoon.

    People were seen escaping the home, in the 5700 block of South Damen Avenue, via windows when fire crews arrived on the scene at about 1:30 p.m.

    One woman, described as "elderly" by Fire Media Affairs Chief Kevin MacGregor, was killed in the fire.  Her husband was taken to St. Bernard Hospital in fair condition.  One firefighter also suffered some smoke inhalation.

    Family members identified the couple has Mattie Griffin Fletcher, 72, and her husband, 71-year-old Joe Fletcher. 

    "My mom was like a mom to all of my neighbors.  My mom raised us well.  She cared about us more than she cared about herself," said Delores Griffin.

    Crews initially sent several ambulances to the scene because of a report of four people trapped inside. But when firefighters arrived, several people were coming out of windows and later down a ladder crews put up, MacGregor said.

    One of the couple's children -- a son -- escaped from the home.

    Outside, family and friends gathered and consoled one another as news of Fletcher's passing spread.

    "She'd give you the clothes off your back if she had to.  She would cook.  If you were hungry she would feed you," said Bertha Shedd, who identified herself as a friend of the couple. "If you had a baby, you already knew that she was going to knit something for that baby."

    The fire was out but crews remained at the scene as of 2:30 p.m. to ensure surrounding buildings did not sustain exposure damage, MacGregor said.

    There were working smoke detectors in the home, officials said.