Six people, including two children and a firefighter, were taken to hospitals after crews rescued dozens of residents from a three-alarm fire Friday morning in the South Chicago neighborhood on the South Side.

The fire was first reported just after 6:30 a.m. at the three-story building in the 7900 block of South Phillips, according to Chicago Fire Department Cmdr. Frank Velez. Firefighters arrived to see residents hanging out the windows and used ladders to rescue at least 24 people.

Some residents had been woken up by smoke alarms going off and had started leaving the building on their own, Velez said.

Residents were taken to a McDonald’s across the street, which the fire department used as a shelter and patient triage center, Velez said. Five residents, two of them children, were taken to hospitals. One child was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in serious to critical condition to be treated for smoke inhalation. The other child and three adults were taken to hospitals for evaluation.

A mayday call went out when a firefighter became disoriented, but he was quickly located and taken to a hospital for evaluation, Velez said. He was in good condition.

Another 43 people refused medical treatment at the scene, Velez said.

The American Red Cross set up a reception center at Rainbow Beach Park, 7844 S. Farragut Drive, to provide disaster relief for families affected by the fire, according to a statement from the organization.

As of 9 a.m., the fire had been put out and crews remained on the scene to monitor hot spots, according to Velez. The cause remained under investigation and the department’s Office of Fire Investigation was at the building.


Arson investigators look into the cause of a suspicious fire about 10 a.m. Friday, September 7, 2018 in the 7900 block of South Yates Ave. in Chicago. | Justin Jackson/ Sun-Times


Crews battle a three-alarm fire Friday morning in the 7900 block of South Phillips in South Chicago. | Fire Media Affairs