CHICAGO – Chicago firefighters rescued four people from a large house fire in the city’s Chatham neighborhood Monday evening. All four were transported to area hospitals for further medical treatment.

SkyCam 9 flew overhead for about 45 minutes as firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze.

According to fire officials, the blaze broke out in the 7800 block of S. Prairie Ave around 5:00 p.m. Smoke billowed from the windows of the burning home as firefighters tried to rescue the four trapped people inside.

Three men had to be rescued through a back window.

Officials say, two men, age 63 and 54, were taken to St. Bernard hospital with smoke inhalation. Both were considered in good condition.

A 39-year-old man was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center with a serious case of smoke inhalation, first responders said.

A 71-year-old woman was taken to Trinity Hospital with smoke inhalation in fair condition. Firefighters say the senior woman, who is disabled, was trapped in the back of the house and had to be carried to safety. 

Lashell Shells was inside when the fire broke out. He said the fire spread so quickly he thought he was going to lose two of his friends.

“When one of the bedrooms flared up so quick, when I went to get the extinguisher, I couldn’t face the front, I couldn’t face the smoke,” Shells said. “So I dropped my jacket down on the floor and crawled out.’

The heavy smoke gabbed the attention of neighbors.

“They started running and tapping into the hydrant, that’s when I knew something was going on so I came out and saw them going up to the roof,” said Kathy Owens.

No smoke alarms were heard, firemen added.

“Had those alarms gone off, perhaps they could have gotten out before the conditions worsened,” said Battalion Chief Anthony Ferenzi. “That’s huge, and I can’t speak highly enough of the work our men and women do, selflessly charging in there. I tell you, it’s breathtaking to see.”

All four rescued are expected to be OK. No other injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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