Fires in the area kill 2, injure several and displaces many

FiresDisasters and AccidentsHealthChicago Fire DepartmentWicker Park

A woman was killed and her two young sons were injured after a fire destroyed their home in Lake Station, Ind., one of a series of fires in the Chicago area that also left a man dead, two others hurt and displaced more than a dozen people, officials said.

Lake County Indiana coroner's officials are waiting dental records to identify the woman whose body was found in the home, Lake Station police said. An autopsy could not determine a cause of death for the woman, said police.

The fire broke out on the 2200 block of Wayne Street about 10:18 p.m. Saturday in a single-family home, according to a spokesman with the Lake Station Fire Department.

A witness said a 29-year-old woman, who lived in the home with her children, had thrown a birthday party for her sons which had ended at 8 p.m., police said. The witness told police he called the home after 10 p.m. but did not get an answer, police said.

The person then drove by the home and found it was on fire, police said. Police said the friend yelled for neighbors to call 911 and tried to reach the people inside the home, police said.

When firefighters arrived at the ranch-style home, fire was shooting through the roof, said fire department spokesman who would not give his name. It took them about 45 minutes to get the fire under control, the spokesman said.

After firefighters arrived, they were able to find a 13-month-old boy in his crib and a 3-year-old boy on the floor of their bedroom. But firefighters were unable to reach the boys' mother whose body was found in the living room, about five feet from the front door, police said. She was later pronounced dead at the home, officials said. No one else lived in the home, police said.

The children were resuscitated before they were taken to a hospital in Hobart, Ind.; they were later taken by helicopter to an unidentified Chicago hospital, the spokesman said. A Lake Station firefighter was treated for minor injuries.

The spokesman said that they had some trouble getting water lines running because a local fire hydrant was frozen shut. The fire did not appear to be suspicious but was being investigated by the Indiana State Fire Marshall's office and Lake Station police.

In the Lincoln Park neighborhood, an 85-year-old man died after a fire on the third floor of a building in the 2700 block of North Pine Grove Avenue  about 10:40 p.m. Saturday, a Chicago Fire Department officials said.

Theodore Walton was pronounced dead at 6:37 a.m. at Loyola University Hospital in Maywood, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The man had "full thickness" burns over his entire body and was originally listed in serious-to-critical condition, the fire department spokesman said.

A woman was hospitalized after a vacant building caught fire in the Wicker Park neighborhood on Saturday evening, officials said.

The fire was reported at about 9:30 Saturday evening in the 3-story, vacant residential building on the 2100 block of West Potomac Avenue, fire officials said.

A man and woman were checked out at the scene by paramedics who then convinced the woman to get hospital treatment, fire officials said. The woman was taken in good-to-fair condition to Resurrection St. Mary of Nazareth Hospital, officials said.

Ten people were displaced when two homes caught fire in Canaryville early Sunday morning, according to the Chicago Fire Department. Firefighters responded to the 2-alarm fire in the 500 block of West 46th Place on the South Side about 3:45 a.m., Chicago Fire Department spokesman Sean Flynn said. The extra-alarm was called off about 4:40 a.m.

Two people were also hospitalized in serious-to-critical condition after suffering from smoke inhalation in a house fire this morning in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood on the Far Southwest Side. The fire department extinguished the  fire in the 10600 block of South Whipple Street before 5 a.m., a spokesman said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Another blaze destroyed a commercial building in Alsip this morning, fire officials said. The Alsip Fire Department was notified by police about 4:45 a.m. this morning of a fire in a building housing three businesses at 4651 W. 120th Street in the southwest suburb.

Alsip Deputy Chief Tom Styczynski said he was at the scene within minutes and when he arrived, the fire, which he said was focused on Royal Auto Transport,  had already gone through the building’s roof.

It took about 45 minutes for the Alsip department, with help from some neighboring departments, to put the fire out. No one was injured, he said, but the building was destroyed.

In La Grange Park, smoke detectors are being credited for alerting a 79-year-old home resident to a fire early this morning in her home on the 1200 block of Cleveland Avenue, said La Grange Park Fire Chief Dean Maggos.

The woman was awoken by the smoke alarms at about 6:20 a.m. The woman, and her dog, were able to get out of the home. No injuries were reported but the home is a total loss, said Maggos. The fire did not seem suspicious but the cause is under investigation.

chicagobreaking@tribune.com

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FiresDisasters and AccidentsHealthChicago Fire DepartmentWicker Park
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