Two firefighters are already back at work and one is home with family after battling a West Side blaze Tuesday afternoon that left a homeowner in critical condition.
Willie Johnson is fighting for his life after the flames were extinguished. His wife, Johnnie, of 60 years is recovering at her daughters house with a fractured arm. Their 11 children are thankful that they’re both alive tonight after a fire wiped out their home.
"We’ve live at that house 50 or 60 years," said daughter Ella Johnson. "So, it’s a home we all grew up in."
Family says one of the kids smelled smoke around noon.
"We went to look for my father, he went back to try to save the dog," Ella said.
Somewhere Willie had fallen and hit his head, causing blood on his brain.
Chicago firefighters went in to the home on the 4800 block of West Van Buren street where a few of them were victims of a flashover, flames ripping over them.
The Johnson family prays for Willie, who's been fighting throat cancer for four years.
He lost his best friend, Blackie the dog, in the fire, as well as the 10-year-old family cat.
But this family believes their tough dad will pull through.
"It’s a tragedy," said daughter Lisa Johnson, who said she's also grateful to have her mother by her side.
"The blessing is, I still have my mom," she said. "I still have my dad."
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses.