A Chicago firefighter was pulled to safety after he almost fell through the staircase of a burning house Thursday in the West Englewood neighborhood.
At least one nearby firefighter grabbed him as the staircase beneath him failed, according to Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford.
“He was grabbed as soon as he started to go... They got him,” Langford said. The firefighter went straight back to extinguishing the fire, he said.
The flames eventually became too much for crews to handle, causing them to retreat from the building, Langford said. The house sustained heavy damage. No injuries were reported.
The fire was reported by a neighbor about 10:30 p.m. in the 2000 block of West 68th Street, according to a statement from Chicago police.
Three uninjured people were displaced by the fire, which appeared to be caused by an open flame in the basement, police said.
A burned mattress was found in the basement of the home, where people may have been squatting, police said. The owner of the home died three years earlier, police said.
The house was previously damaged in a fire in February, which may have weakened its structure, Langford said.