Four Chicago firefighters were injured when a stairway collapsed while they were fighting an extra-alarm fire in a three-story apartment building in the South Chicago neighborhood during which officials had to call for an emergency "mayday" response.
The fire on the 9000 block of South Muskegon Avenue was reported at 8:43 a.m., according to Chicago Fire Department officials. About 200 firefighters responded when the fire was soon raised to a 2-11 alarm, said Deputy District Chief Lynda Turner.
The four firefighters -- three men and a woman -- sustained injures when they were on a stairway connecting the second and third floors that collapsed, said Turner.
None of the firefighters sustained broken bones, said Fire Department Commander Sean Flynn. At least two of the firefighters sustained minor smoke inhalation, said Flynn.
The mayday response was called at about 9 a.m., said Turner.
"We pretty much had the fire under control by the time the stairwell collapsed," said Turner.
Two of the firefighters sustained smoke inhalation and two firefighters minor injuries, according to Fire Department and police officials. Turner said the injuries were mostly "bumps and bruises." All were in good condition and taken to Trinity Hospital, according to a Fire Department spokesman.
As the firefighters were fighting fire in the basement of a three-story building a 2-11 alarm response was called, asking for additional equipment and firefighters, officials said.
A short time later firefighters called off the mayday response and noted that all firefighters were accounted for, according to Fire Department officials.
A family of four who lived on the second floor was displaced from the building, which had extensive fire damage, but no injuries were reported among the residents. The fire began in a basement and spread throughout the building, Turner said.
Initial reports indicated there was no working smoke detectors, but the fire is still under investigation, Turner said.
As of 10:30 a.m., about half a dozen fire trucks were parked near the intersection of 91st Street and Muskegon Avenue. Windows in the fire building were knocked out and glass littered the alley next to it.
The three-story red brick building was charred black, particularly at the bottom.
Neighbor Derryl Taylor, 58, was coming back from taking out the trash when he saw black smoke billowing out from the basement windows.
"The building was on fire," he said. "It's crazy."
Taylor, who currently lives in a one-bedroom basement apartment two doors down, had been planning to move into a two-bedroom apartment on the first floor of the fire building on May 1.
Taylor said he had been looking forward to living in an apartment with windows, and space for his children and grandchildren to stay.
"I said, 'Hey, a few hundred more dollars I can handle it,' " he said. Now he is working with the landlord to get his security deposit back.
Turner said the family on the second floor had lived there for less than a month.
In the meantime, he said, he plans to stay where he is while he looks for another place.
"Things happen," he said.
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