3 Injured in Explosion, Massive Blaze on Chicago's Far South Side

Three people were injured when an explosion and massive fire tore through an apartment building on Chicago's Far South Side Saturday morning. 

Around 6 a.m., first responders were called to the fire at a 3-story building in the 9600 block of S. Ewing Ave. in the city's East Side neighborhood, according to police. [[419532533, C]]

Witnesses said they heard a loud explosion before the fire, with one neighbor saying the vibrations shook her home about half a block away. That explosion appeared to have occurred in the basement, fire officials said, and the blaze was upgraded to a second-alarm fire about 30 minutes later.

A man in his 20s who was in the basement at the time suffered burns to 27 percent of his body, authorities said, and was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center where he was listed in serious condition. [[419532543, C]]

Two other men believed to be in their late teens were taken to area hospitals, authorities said, one who jumped out of an elevated window on the first floor and another who had lacerations. Both injuries were considered non-life-threatening, according to fire officials, as well as those of a young girl who got glass in her foot and was treated on the scene. 

Crews also rescued two dogs from the blaze, which displaced at least a dozen residents. [[419532563, C]]

More than 100 emergency crews were called to the scene, said Chicago Fire Department District Chief Donald Hroma, who added that by the time authorities brought the fire under control, the flames had spread through all six units and the back of the structure had collapsed.

The building was totaled and the cause of both the fire and the explosion are under investigation, according to fire officials, who remained on the scene.

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