Police officer and 2 others injured, 10 displaced in overnight fires

A Chicago police officer and two other people were injured in overnight fires that displaced at least 10 people from Lawndale and Englewood neighborhood homes.

The 31-year-old police officer was injured in an extra-alarm fire in the Harrison Court Apartments at the intersection of Sacramento Boulevard and Harrison Street. A 60-year-old man was injured in the same fire, which started before 3:40 a.m.

The officer was taken to Rush University Medical Center in good condition after he made early contact with the 60-year-old man, who was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in fair-to-serious condition after suffering smoke inhalation injuries.

The fire is being attributed to the "careless use of smoking materials in the presence of medical oxygen," according to Chicago Fire Department Spokesman Larry Langford.

Private security guards walking foot patrol through the buildings heard the alarm and saw smoke coming from the fourth floor.

Joseph Rodriguez, 24, knocked on doors to let people know they needed to get out of the building while firefighters were still responding.

He grabbed a fire extinguisher but said the fire was too large to contain. The man in the apartment told him the medical tank caught fire, he said.

The fire and extra alarm was struck out in less than 30 minutes and crews remained at the scene into the morning. Harrison between Sacramento and California Avenue was closed to traffic but reopened by about 6 a.m.

In Englewood about midnight, one teen suffered a hand injury escaping a burning two-story brick apartment building that displaced 10 people. Six children were among the 10 displaced. 

The fire was in the first floor of an apartment at the intersection of 71st Street and Laflin Avenue, just east of Ashland Avenue. 

pnickeas@tribune.com | Twitter: @PeterNickeas

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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