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Neighbor rescues child in fatal fire near Midway Airport

Susan M. Collopy, 60, died in the fire. Fire officials say a neighbor was woken up by his dog and rescued a child and adult from the blaze before firefighters arrived.

One person died and a child was among three others injured in a fire Nov. 29, 2021, on the Southwest Side.
One person died and a child was among three others injured in a fire Monday on the Southwest Side.
Chicago Fire Media

A neighbor rescued a child from a fire that killed the child’s grandmother Monday morning at a home in Clearing on the Southwest Side.

Renaldo Vera’s dog heard screams and woke him up around 6 a.m., according to the Chicago Fire Department.

Vera rushed to the burning home in the 5700 block of West 64th Street and pulled out the 7-year-old boy and an adult before firefighters arrived, the department said.

“I heard the window break, and I screamed out ... to see if everything was OK,” Vera told reporters at the scene. “I ran downstairs. The grandfather started breaking the windows, and I started helping the little boy out.”

“Then I went back to help the mother out of the window,” Vera said. “Anyone else would’ve done the same.”

When firefighters arrived, they entered the home and found 60-year-old Susan M. Collopy in a rear bedroom, fire officials and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said. Paramedics took her to Holy Cross Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, Chicago police said.

An autopsy found Collopy died from smoke inhalation. Her death was ruled an accident.

The 7-year-old boy was taken in serious condition to Loyola University Medical Center, police said. A 34-year-old woman was in fair condition at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, and a 60-year-old man was in good condition at Loyola.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.