Norwood Park

3 firefighters injured, 1 critically, in Norwood Park house fire

One firefighter was critically injured and two others were hospitalized in fair condition following a residence fire Friday afternoon in the city's Norwood Park neighborhood, authorities said.

The fire was reported before 4 p.m. in the 8300 block of West Balmoral Avenue near Cumberland Avenue. The Chicago Fire Department said three firefighters were transported to area hospitals, including two who were inside the basement when a mayday call went out.

Cellphone video shared with NBC Chicago captured the smoke billowing from the single story family home.

“At first it looked like there was a smoke in the back but then they were on the roof, and they were cutting holes on the roof, and when they opened the front door I’ve never seen so much smoke in my life,” said Jim Bruno, who lives across the street. “Dark smoke. Just unbelievable. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.”

The injured firefighters were taken to Ascension Resurrection Hospital. One initially listed in critical condition has since been transferred to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. His condition has since been upgraded to serious.

“I’ve never seen so many firefighters, so many fire trucks,” Bruno said. “It was a very big response and it was a bad fire.”

The Chicago Fire Department said two other firefighters were said to be doing "very well" and were in fair. One of the firefighters was alert and awake and even a gave a thumbs up as he was being loaded into an ambulance.

The homeowner told NBC Chicago that the fire broke out in the basement believed to be sparked by an electrical problem. He was the only person at home and made it safely.

The firefighter who is serious condition is being treated for burns and smoke inhalation, according to a fire spokesperson. He’s in his 50s and has been on the job since the 90s. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Contact Us