West Side “Mayday” fire leaves 3 firefighters and one elderly man injured

A Mayday was declared Monday during a fire in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood when a firefighter went missing for a few minutes on the foreground, according to WGN9.

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About noon, officials reported the fire at the home in the 4800 block of West Van Buren, according to a tweet from Chicago Fire Media. A Mayday was called at 12:20 p.m. when a firefighter “was out of touch for a few moments” as he battled the blaze, Fire Media Affairs said.

He and two other firefighters were taken to hospitals, one for burns, officials said. A person rescued from the basement was taken to Loretto Hospital, officials said.

An 85-year-old man was taken in good condition to Loretto Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, Fire Media Affairs said.

The fire broke out shortly before noon and was quickly raised to a 2-11 alarm, sending extra equipment and crews. It took more than 100 firefighters an hour and a half to bring the blaze under control.

Fire Commissioner Jose A. Santiago the first crews at the scene brought the man from the basement. A second company arrived to search the first floor and attic when there was a “flashover” and “fire comes over the top of you,” he said.

The man who was rescued was later identified as “Mr. Johnson.” They said he’s lived in the neighborhood his whole life and call him “Mr. Johnson” out of respect “because he’s old school.”

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Gregory Hughes, 59, said he grew up next door and that they were good friends. Hughes said his parent’s home sustained major damage. “I feel really bad but everything is replaceable,” he said. “As long as everybody got out, that’s all that counts.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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