An apartment fire in a south Chicago suburb killed a 49-year-old woman and sent residents leaping from windows early Monday as flames engulfed the three-story building, authorities said.
The fire in the Cook County village of Lansing also injured two other tenants, while three police officers who were treated at hospitals and released. The conditions of the two injured tenants were not immediately available, Lansing Deputy Fire Chief John Grady said.
The fire, which was reported shortly after 3 a.m. Monday, sent residents leaping from the building to flee the intense flames and smoke.
Brian Blaney said he threw his 1-year-old daughter out of a window to a cousin who was on the ground outside the apartment building after trying to warn people about the fire.
“He was out here, and I threw the baby out to him. My son jumped out, my girl jumped out and I jumped out after them,” Blaney told WLS-TV.
Jamauri McNabb said he escaped the building with relatives as dense, black smoke surrounded them. He said much of their belongings were destroyed by the blaze but his family survived.
“I could have been killed. I am happy to be alive," he told The (Northwest Indiana) Times.
The fire's cause remains under investigation by Lansing's police and fire departments and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Lansing is located about 7 miles (11 kilometers) south of the Chicago city limits and abuts the Indiana state line.