Girl, 2, dies after fire in Chicago apartment building

Crews found the child under debris, and attempts to revive her on scene were unsuccessful


Shanzeh Ahmad
Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO — A 2-year-old girl has died after a fire that started in a bedroom of a second-floor apartment in the Roseland neighborhood Wednesday morning, Chicago Fire Department officials said.

The fire at the building at 11035 S. King Drive started shortly before 8 a.m., Chicago fire spokesperson Larry Langford said. Multiple crews responded after reports of visible flames and someone possibly trapped inside. Crews found “heavy fire” blowing out the windows upon arrival, Langford said.

Chicago police investigate at the scene of a fire that killed a 2-year-old child in a second-floor apartment on May 24, 2022.
Chicago police investigate at the scene of a fire that killed a 2-year-old child in a second-floor apartment on May 24, 2022. (Photo/Jose M. Osorio/Tribune News Service)

The fire was extinguished and a search began on the second and third floors for anyone trapped inside. Langford said crews didn’t find anyone at first but after an “extensive effort,” the child was found in a bedroom of the apartment under a lot of debris.

“We know the fire began in the same bedroom where the child was found, but we don’t know why yet. Investigators are on the scene, working it,” Langford said.

Attempts to revive the girl on scene were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead soon after being brought outside, he said.

Two adults were in the two-bedroom unit at the time of the fire and got out safely, Langford said. They were not the girl’s parents. Langford said the child’s mother had left the apartment, possibly to drop older children at school, and the other two adults also lived in the apartment and were watching the 2-year-old. Langford said the relationship was still unclear Wednesday morning, and that the mother was “on her way back” when the fire broke out.

The second-floor unit was damaged extensively, Langford said. The fire extended slightly to the unit above, but most of the fire was contained to the second-floor apartment. Langford said the unit is not livable but the building’s structure is still sound.

The building was evacuated, and no one else was treated at or transported from the scene.

There were no working smoke detectors found in the apartment where the fire started, but the building had some working smoke detectors in common areas, Langford said.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, and the investigation is ongoing.

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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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