Firefighter Injured, Families Displaced in West Side Fire

Three homes on 3200 block of West Wabansia Avenue damaged in early morning fire

Two people were injured, including a Chicago firefighter, in a blaze on Chicago's west side that damaged three homes and left several other people looking for shelter.

Crews were called to the 3200 block of West Wabansia Avenue at about 1 a.m. for a fire at a three-and-a-half story building. Responding firefighters encountered flames shooting out of one of the structures -- a vacant home under renovation.

From there, the flames jumped to the home to the east, where two families were asleep.

"There was a lot of rattling. They were breaking into the house next door and I turned around and saw the window. It was full of flames. I just grabbed my daughter and I ran out," said neighbor Jacqueline Uriostegui. "It was just horrible. It was full of flames already and my daughter was right next to the window."

An adult male in the home was treated on the scene before being transported to Norwegian American Hospital. His wife said her husband inhaled smoke while trying to run back into the home to rescue their five cats. He was doing OK and was in the process of being released shortly before 5 a.m., she told NBC Chicago.

A firefighter who complained of chest pains was transported to St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital. Other firefighters said their colleague was in stable condition and was going to be OK.

Fire crews said they believe the fire started between the two homes, spreading up the walls on either side of the gangway. Three homes were damaged; two were completely burned and a thrd was charred.

The fire was out by 3 a.m. There was no immediate word as to a cause, but arson investigators and K9 units were on the scene briefly.

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