A mother and her six children were rescued from a Bronzeville neighborhood apartment building after it went up in flames early Tuesday morning.
Firefighters were called to the 3-story apartment complex in the 4500 block of South Drexel just after 1 a.m. to find a fire that had engulfed an apartment on the building's first floor, officials said.
Crews were forced to use an axe to enter the burning home as intense flames shot out of the apartment’s windows.
A mother and her six children were inside when the fire started, according to police, before being rescued by two men who live in a building across the alley and say they saw the flames and heard screams.
The men rushed to the scene and were able to get the family of seven out of the apartment in time, authorities said. One of the men suffered burns to his chest and was treated at the scene, fire officials said.
The mother and her children were not injured, but two residents from another unit were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, officials said.
Firefighters said the cold weather conditions, with wind chill readings dipping into the single digits, may have made the battling the blaze even more challenging, as crew encountered at least one frozen hydrant.
The Bronzeville Neighborhood Collaborative has asked for donations of clothing and toys, which can be dropped off at Carter Woodson School at 44th and Evans, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.