A Chicago firefighter pulled his colleague to safety after he almost fell through the staircase of a burning home on Thursday in Chicago’s West Englewood neighborhood.
At least one nearby firefighter took hold of him as the staircase below him began to fail, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“He was grabbed as soon as he started to go … They got him,” Langford said.
Langford added that the rescued firefighter went straight back to work putting out the fire.
Update on mayday. Member grabbed as he was falling in. Ok and back on the pipe. All members are good all defensive.
— Chicago Fire Media (@CFDMedia) March 19, 2021
The blaze eventually became too much for the crews to contain, so they retreated from the building, Langford said.
The house sustained severe damage, but no injuries were reported, and the three people inside the house were able to get out safely.
A neighbor reported the fire at about 10:30 p.m. on West 68th Street, Chicago police said.
Police said the fire appeared to have been caused by an open flame that spread through the basement after finding a burned mattress there.
The home’s owner died three years ago, so authorities believe the fire may have been started by squatters, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Langford said the house suffered additional damage in a fire last month, which may have caused additional pressure on the existing structure.